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Half of UK consumers would pay for low-value goods using only their voice

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More than half of consumers (57%) would use voice-activated technology, such as Amazon’s Alexa, to pay for low-value goods and services, according to new research commissioned by Paysafe Group, a leading global payments provider.

The research also found that one in ten (11%) have used voice to confirm their identity when purchasing goods online.  Furthermore, more than half (53%) of consumers believe that using these devices is quicker and more convenient than traditional payment methods, suggesting an increasing acceptance of speech in consumers’ lives.

Nearly two thirds (62%) further said that a greater choice of verification methods, such as vocals and fingerprints, make them feel more secure about making payments online. Although, most consumers (81%) still feel most comfortable if a password is included in the process.

However, while the acceptance of speech in payment scenarios is clearly increasing, consumers are still in two minds about making larger purchases and the security of voice technology.

For example, only 18% would be happy to pay for a vacation or book flights using voice recognition. From a security perspective, just over a third (37%) trust that their financial information is secure when using voice activated technology and nearly half (45%) said they don’t want companies having access to their personal biometric details.

The research, Lost in Transaction: The end of risk?, explores consumer attitudes to biometrics prior to the roll-out of Strong Customer Authentication later this year. The annual study tracks changing views on payments globally.

Commenting on the research, Danny Chazonoff, COO, Paysafe Group, says: “The age of voice has well and truly arrived with the advent of affordable and highly functional smart speakers in the home. As consumers become more comfortable using voice to access services and control their home, it’s only a matter of time before ordering goods and making payments by voice enters the mainstream both via smart devices and mobile.”

Chazonoff continues: “Understandably with a nascent tech like voice activation, consumers are still apprehensive about security. Our research indicates that consumers are likely to start experimenting with low-value shopping and services, but this will inevitably change as people become more comfortable using voice. Once a user base is established, it can take a couple of years before we see a rapid increase in usage.”

Consumers were asked to state how comfortable they would be ordering and paying in the following contexts using a voice-activated system like Alexa:

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Paul Skeldon

Editor and content creator for Telemedia – for 18 years and counting

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