New Paysafe Study Finds Customers Eager to Use Voice-Based Mobile Payments

July 24, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

When even “South Park” can cover the notion of automated, voice-driven assistants, you know the concept has reached full mainstream. Sure, there’s no risk of us replacing said systems with Jim-Bobs any time soon, but Alexa is looking to take on a whole new prominence in our everyday operations. A new study released from Paysafe Group shows that customers have a keen interest in using Alexa, and similar voice-driven systems, to pay for “low-value goods and services.”

The Paysafe study found that just over half—57 percent—of customers would turn to tools like Alexa to shop for low-value goods and services. Indeed, 11 percent have already used voice systems to confirm their identity during online shopping trips, so it’s not exactly a leap to let Alexa et al take over the whole process.

The biggest reason, according to 53 percent, is that voice-activated systems are quicker and more convenient than most other equivalents. Security, not surprisingly, is still a factor. Just under two thirds, 62 percent, said that having more options in verification like fingerprints or voice technology made them feel safer. Oddly, most respondents—81 percent—actually felt most comfortable by having a password involved somewhere in the process.

However, just 18 percent would be willing to pay for vacations or book flights using voice systems, and only 37 percent trust that the details surrounding their finances are sufficiently secure by using voice-activated systems. Moreover, nearly half—45 percent—found that companies having access to “personal biometric details” leaves them cold.

Sometimes it’s better to start small. After all, people are likely more willing to run the risk of a hack when small purchases are involved; it becomes that much easier to see the hacking that way. If you see three figures where there’s never a purchase above two, then you know a hack’s been done. And as people become more comfortable, and see that their bank accounts aren’t at risk whenever they start Alexa, the chances they’ll move on to high-dollar items increases substantially.

While we may not be willing to hand over all our payment details to Alexa and the like right now, a future in which we tell our devices—mobile or otherwise—to buy plane tickets may not be so far off.