Voice payment: Tomorrow, you only have to speak to pay

Feb 23, 2021

In a context marked by the health crisis, payment players are thinking about new ways to make contactless payments, while respecting the security and distance standards in force. Among these new concepts is voice payment, which is beginning to become more widespread in several countries.

Driver using voice payment at a toll

First experiments in the automotive world

The Amazon mastodon has been developing voice payment functions for a few years now, through the Alexa virtual assistant. The first payment applications on this medium were designed for gas stations and gasoline payment; Amazon has thus deployed its solution in nearly 11,500 Mobil and Exxon gas stations in the United States.

The objective of this solution is to provide an alternative to contactless card payment, which is certainly very fast but requires getting out of the car and approaching the bank card to the payment terminal. Here, the transaction is processed by the AmazonPay payment system, combined with an API developed by Fiserv allowing the transaction to be processed at the gas pump.


Similar principles are beginning to emerge in other countries, curious to experiment with these voice payment solutions. In France, for example, the leader in integrated payment solutions and Eftpos terminals manufacturer Ingenico is testing such solutions in the E-center. Leclerc d’Argentan center. Always designed for the automotive environment, this voice payment solution also focuses on fuel purchases. However, Ingenico would like to extend its application to the reservation of electric recharging stations, ordering meals from its vehicle, paying tolls and any other payment that can be made from its car.

As you will have understood, voice payment solutions are currently mainly designed for the automotive world. That said, there are many areas that could benefit from such solutions. For example, Ingenico says it wants to evaluate “the users’ appetite for voice commerce in defined scenarios. »

Other voice payment applications

Payment by voice command can indeed aspire to be used somewhere other than from a vehicle. The increasing digitalization of payments also suggests that remote payment by voice could be relevant.

For the payment of a purchase on the Internet, for example, a voice confirmation of purchase is quite possible. When confirming the purchase, the user will receive a scripted call where he can confirm his payment by voice using simple keywords such as “I confirm payment by voice”.

We can also take the example of wizards such as Google Home or Amazon Echo connected speakers, which already serve as intermediaries for the confirmation of a purchase. Are you missing something for tomorrow’s meal? You will be able to order it by voice through your connected speaker, without having to manually fill your shopping cart and confirm your purchase afterwards. This is the meaning of the proposal from Carrefour, which has developed a voice shopping service for users of an Android smartphone equipped with Google’s voice assistant.

This voice biometric technology can also be used as a confirmation for certain banking transactions such as :

  • account consultation,
  • the validation of certain transactions with the bank advisor, all from his home,
  • transfers to external accounts.

The application of payment by voice in these banking operations and in the other uses cited in this article is made possible by its extremely secure aspect. Supervised by the PSD2, voice payments are part of the family of biometric payments we have already discussed, provided they benefit from double authentication. Indeed, biometrics seems to be becoming a key factor in the development of payment security, a subject of prime importance for all players.

Voice payment could therefore become a new habit for consumers. According to the GfK Institute, more than half of the French would be interested in acquiring a voice assistant mentioned above. This figure confirms the idea that a voice payment could join the family of payment methods preferred by consumers worldwide.

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