The Next Big Thing in Payments is Voice

Posted by Bethany Frank on 06 Dec 2017

A revolution is on the horizon. Can you hear it? Listen closely –

It’s someone asking an app on her phone to place an order at the local café.

Voice interactions are taking over the business world. From lunch orders to bill payments, consumers are getting used to talking to their phones or virtual assistants to carry out all kinds of tasks.

Research firm Gartner predicts that by next year, 30% of our interactions with technology will be through “conversations” with smart machines. Artificial intelligence – specifically a type of machine learning known as natural language processing or “NLP” – is changing consumer behavior and reshaping commerce as we know it.

Advances in machine learning have allowed pioneers like Amazon and Microsoft to create highly sophisticated bots intelligent enough to decipher human speech and respond in a natural, conversational manner. These bots are inspiring entire new ecosystems of connected devices like virtual assistants and smart home appliances.

These connected devices are more popular than ever – a trend expected to continue through the end of the decade. Gartner forecasts there will be 20.4 billion connected devices in use by 2020, and RBC Capital Markets estimates Amazon’s Alexa could generate $10 billion in revenue for the company by 2020 as well. Forrester projects over 50% of all U.S. households will have at least one virtual assistant within five years, with the number of active smart devices expected to grow from 42 million to 244 million. The 2016 holiday season brought a notable spike in sales, and smart devices are on track to remain one of the hottest gifts this year.

The more consumers integrate connected devices and other technology into their daily routines, the more natural it’ll become to ask Alexa to schedule a loan payment or have Siri place an order for groceries. This means consumers will expect a simple, seamless, and engaging payment experience across all the devices and platforms they use.

Visit to learn more about voice payments, and be sure to check out our blog for more on payments innovation.

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Bethany Frank Senior Marketing Associate Bethany specializes in content and events as part of Alacriti's marketing team. She's a graduate of Rutgers University and has a background in writing, broadcasting, and digital media. Fascinated by the intersection of technology and human nature, Bethany is out to explore what drives consumers in such a fast-paced, digitally connected world.

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