— This is the script of CNBC’s news report for China’s CCTV on June 15, 2018, Friday.
One of the biggest ideas in the payments industry is called biometrics. All you need to make a payment? Your voice, your face, your fingerprint, maybe even your heartbeat.
Hello Knomi, please verify my identity.
There we are, successful. Now you’d be able to go ahead with the payment, go on with your day?
Go ahead and buy something. It’s that simple.
You’re literally just using your face and your voice to make that payment?
Face and voice. You always have them with you, you can’t forget them.
[Carl-Michael Heüveldop, Aware] “Instead of entering a pin or a password to activate the payment you would use your face, or the voice as another option.”
Biometrics like your voice are increasingly being used to authenticate payments from devices like mobile phones. And thanks to home assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home – voice payments are becoming a fast and easy way to make purchases without ever leaving the house – or even the sofa
[Stephen Ritter, Mitek Systems] “It’s basically teaching computers to understand your voice and match that voice to your identity. // now through a simple voice command you’d be able to say Alexa please buy so and so for me. And then Alexa would be able to say yep, that’s Steve Ritter’s voice, I’m going to go ahead and make that purchase for him.”
Research shows voice assistants are most commonly used to seek information – like the news or the weather – and to play music and videos.
But retail is becoming a bigger function with 35% of consumers using voice to buy products like groceries, home care or clothes.
The voice shopping market is expected to grow to $40 billion in 2022, up from $2 billion today.
And right now, it’s dominated by a few big players: Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
[Kai-Christian Claus, EY] “If you become as a provider, like the top payment method of one of those large platforms the probability that you really outbeat everything and everybody in the market is quite high.”
But there are still obstacles to making purchases with just our voice.
[Stephen Ritter] “just as easy it is for me to make a payment using my voice and my Amazon account, erm, somebody else could use that to make purchases either for theft or maybe more, um, importantly money laundering.”
But some experts say biometrics aren’t the problem, they’re the solution, to making payments safer.
[Ajay Bhalla, Mastercard] “the most common password is . // Biometrics actually changes the consumer experience and actually makes it more secure too.”
With a recent survey showing 93% of consumers prefer biometrics over traditional passwords – it might not be too long before voice payments go mainstream.