Australians can withdraw cash with their phones, make payments with their smartwatches and now they’ll be able to transfer funds and check their bank account balances with a simple, “Hey Siri.”
In the coming days, customers with an iPhone operating iOS11 or later and the latest Westpac banking app will be able to use the Siri voice assistant to perform simple tasks like checking their account balances and even transferring money to their friends and family.
It’s not quite as simple as asking Siri to transfer $40 to your mate for last night’s dinner and drinks though, as customers will still need to authenticate payments using their fingerprint or face ID before the money is transferred.
The launch is just the latest integration of voice technology by Westpac following the release of similar collaborations with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant earlier this year.
But according to Westpac Group Chief Executive, Consumer Bank, George Frazis, it is a first for iPhone users in Australia.
“Now, Westpac customers will be the first in Australia to have the choice and convenience of using Siri voice technology to make a payment, and also check their account balance,” he said in a statement released today.
Is voice technology the future of banking?
It’s no surprise that Australians are steadily moving towards using their smartphones for their banking needs. In fact, recent figures from Roy Morgan revealed that 46.5% of the population used mobile banking in the 12 months to May 2018 - a 3.1% increase on the year before.
And with the expansion of smartphone-specific banking features such as ATM withdrawals and over the counter payments, Australians will likely continue to have even more reasons to make mobile their banking platform of choice.
But how does voice technology fit in?
According to research from Westpac 48% of Australians make use of smartphone-based voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant, with a third of this group using an assistant at least once a day.
“We know a growing number of Australians are using Siri to help make their lives easier and faster, from checking the weather through to setting an alarm, all with a simple voice request,” said Frazis.
“With more than 2.5 million customers using mobile banking, this is part of our continued strategy of providing our customers with the technology and tools to meet their financial needs.”
Love the sound of using a voice assistant for your banking needs? Find an account with voice technology integration over at the Mozo bank account comparison hub, or get to grips with smartphone banking by reading through our mobile payments guide.