Santander first bank in UK for voice-powered payments
Santander has become the first bank in the UK to allow customers to make payments using their voice.
As Banking Technology reported in March 2016, Santander said it was the “first” bank in the UK to launch voice banking technology. Phase one enabled customers to talk to their Santander SmartBank app and ask about their card spending.
The second phase, which was discussed last year, has now been activated and lets customers use advanced features such as the ability to make payments and report a stolen card. It is being piloted on the iOS version of the bank’s official app.
Ed Metzger, head of technology innovation at Santander, says the “worlds of technology and banking continue to evolve at pace, working hand in hand to deliver a friction-free user experience”.
The use of voice recognition technology (whether to pay or not to pay) is a common occurrence, and not limited to the UK.
Last year, digital bank N26 (formerly Number26) started offering voice-powered payments via Siri – the “first” bank in Germany to do so.
Citigroup planned to launch voice recognition technology to its retail customers, as part of its drive to digital banking. It says it will be the first bank in Asia to do this and is targeting one million Asian users in a year.
HSBC planned to launch voice recognition and touch security services in the UK, which will be available to 15 million banking customers.
In 2014, Barclays introduced voice biometrics for its Barclays Wealth customers to identify themselves on phone calls, removing the need for passwords or security questions.