Voice-Based Mobile Payments Potential “Phenomenal,” Says Amazon Pay VP

June 5, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

We all know there’s no shortage of options out there when it comes to mobile payments. You’ve got your choice of dozens of different breeds and then some. Amazon Pay is a comparatively recent entry into the field, but with the power of Amazon on its side, it might be a bigger winner than some might expect. What’s more, new reports suggest it may have an even better edge on its side than expected in the form of voice payments.

Also out of the recent Money 2020 conference, Patrick Gauthier—Amazon Pay vice president—noted that voice payments meant a “…new era in commerce” for those willing to put it to use. Essentially, with a growing number of smart speakers on hand like the Amazon Echo, as well as competitors like the HomePod from Apple and the Google Home system, putting voice to use in mobile payments could prove to be a major new addition.

In fact, an eMarketer report suggested that smart speakers were the fastest growing technology for consumers since the smartphone itself, which led Gauthier to compare voice payments to mobile as of 10 years ago, or even e-commerce itself as of 20 years ago.

It therefore will likely surprise almost no one to discover security concerns are considered the biggest potential barrier to customers, as they were for mobile payments 10 years ago and e-commerce itself 20 years ago. In fact, reports suggested that half of consumers surveyed considered security the biggest problem, and just over a third—34 percent—actively distrust voice services to accurately select a needed product.

The good news about this is that, this time around, the people who make the payments systems actually know what to improve, and what improvements to actively market. The problems remain much the same as they always were, and we have at least some idea of how to address them. The better a job that Amazon—or Apple, Google, whatever—can do to show their systems are safe (perhaps consider a kind of internal LifeLock-style system complete with insurance?), the better they will do in pulling users into the fold.

The technology is new, but its shortcomings are old as e-commerce itself. Knowing this, those engaging in voice payments systems have the perfect opportunity to make a successful system.