Voice payments to save us from annoying PoS failures in Nigeria soon

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One day – very soon – you will walk into Shoprite at Victoria Island or Ikeja or the shopping mall across the street without your bank card or cash, pick up groceries from the shelve and when you get to the cashier, you will whip out your phone and say “Hey Siri (for iPhone users) send N200 bill using (payment service the mall uses)”. The bill is transferred instantly. You can do the same when you order goods from online stores.

That future is not far-fetched, it is already here. Many of us on Android phones are already giving different commands to Google voice assistant. In fact, 63 per cent of Android owners have communicated with a voice assistant on their smartphone.

A research by Juniper expects 93 million smart speakers to be in use by the end of 2019. Globally, 600 million use a voice assistant at least once a week. The popularity of voice assistants is rising and the next frontier looks to be in payment.

Another survey conducted by Transaction Network Services (TNS) found that 26 per cent of respondents in markets across the United States, United Kingdom and Australia who own a voice assistant have used it to make payments.

PayPal is believed to have been the earliest adopter of voice payment when it added integration with Siri to let its users conduct peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions with a simple voice command. Barclays, Santander and the Royal Bank of Canada followed suit in 2017.

Amazon Pay has also set its sights on the market after seeing 5 per cent of internet searches initiated by a voice prompt. The company believes that making it easier for consumers to pay for goods with their voice works to Amazon’s advantage as it removes any barrier to … Read More...