The rise of voice payments with its innumerable advantages
Voice technology has managed to revolutionise our lives to a great extent. With Siri on iPhone, Alexa on Amazon, and Google Assistant on Android, performing specific tasks with voice commands has become a mainstream phenomenon. Considering the massive advancement of voice technology, from giving weather updates to streaming music or headlines of the day- voice assistants are indeed a part of our future.
Voice technology is now being utilised to perform administrative tasks, make payments and even pay bills. The demand for voice payment has been responded to quite positively by banks and sound-based commerce networks like ToneTag. The global voice-based payments market, valued at $5.89 billion in 2021, is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9% from 2022 to 2030.
Voice-based payment is both accessible and convenient. Voice-enabled payments bring in cost-saving opportunities, safety, and ease of payment. The increase in the usage of voice-based payments has the potential to bring in consumers who have stopped using digital payments due to challenges like connectivity issues, digital illiteracy, or feature phone constraints. With AI and ML, voice technology will enable individuals to proceed with effortless financial transactions through Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
Before we discuss the benefits of using voice-based payment, let’s talk about how it works.
The familiarity with voice technology has opened up many avenues for consumers to use voice assistance. From sending money to ordering groceries to making payments, voice has become a prominent method of using our devices. The market for voice technology and voice-based payments is anticipated to grow in the next decade, and these are being driven by voice commerce solutions from payment service providers. With voice commerce, customers can choose the option to make payments using voice in turn making transactions much easier. While most voice payment methods need a smart device and internet connectivity to function, platforms like VoiceSe enables customers to make digital payments even without an internet connection with just voice on their feature phones and smart phones.
Some advantages of using voice-based payment are:
- Ease of payment: From a customer’s point of view, voice-based payments are much easier than typing out phone numbers, card numbers, account numbers, or CVV numbers. Using voice to carry out the transaction makes payment quicker and hassle-free.
- Hands-free: A customer can make hands-free payments without touching a device with voice technology. Voice-enabled payment can be carried out while your hands are busy with some other work like driving, eating food or regular work. This is an advantage for visually impaired people too.
- Less fraud: Like our fingerprint, our voice is also unique, which keeps frauds at a distance. A voice has various characteristics and can’t be easily mimicked or duplicated yet. Voice-based payments backed by voice authentication cannot be tampered with. The age-old practice of keypads and text-based passwords is vulnerable to scams and hacking, leading to enormous possibilities of breaches in data. On the other hand, AI-based voice authentication can ensure protection and prevent data breaches.
- Address digital illiteracy: A section of the population still depends on cash transactions owing to digital illiteracy. With voice-based payment, this section of the population can make digital payments easily with the help of call-based payment method. Besides ease in making payments, IVR also facilities safe online transactions. A customer simply needs to call the IVR number and confirm the desired financial transaction on the call. Sound-based commerce networks like voice-based digital payments in Indian languages like Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Bengali that can be done by using basic feature phones.
- New technology: The excitement of using new technology allures people a lot. This makes sound-based payment attractive and widely used. Customers always look forward to technology that is easy and accessible. The quick adaptation and acceptance of voice assistants is a tell-tale sign that customers are looking forward to more diversification of voice technology beyond entertainment.
With a section of the population finding comfort in using one or the other form of voice technology, we can safely assume that the current change favours the adoption of voice-based payment technology. The traditional form of digital payment is reliable, but it needs constant checking of account numbers, apps, and OTPs. On the other hand, voice technology comes with an option that is much quicker and handier. In voice-based payment, customers can use their voice commands, making the payment procedure hassle-free.
(The author is Mr. Kumar Abhishek, Founder & CEO, Tonetag and the views expressed in this article are his own)