Will Australia’s banks follow the UK and start offering ‘Siri Payments’?

UK Bank, Barclays, has unveiled its latest banking feature, Siri Payments, which allows its personal banking customers the option to use Siri to make payments through their mobile without the need to open the Barclays Mobile Banking App (BMB).

With a simple command like ‘Hey Siri, pay [Mum] £15 with Barclays’ customers will then be asked to authenticate the payment with Apple’s Touch ID. Currently Siri payments can only be made to existing payees or mobile contacts and will be available to customers who have an iOS device, with iOS 10+ and Touch ID.

According to Barclays the technology will enable customers to send money virtually hands free from their bank account, and will make secure banking easier, faster and simpler for all customers, including those with additional needs.

Barclays is the first UK bank to launch the “virtually hands-free” feature and it is anticipated by Mozo’s Money Experts that Australia’s banks will be closely following customer uptake as they look to expand mobile banking and fintech services to their personal banking customers here.  Australian business banking provider, Tyro, has been offering Siri payments to its Smart Account customers since February. 

“Australians are early adopters of technology and with increased competition from the fintech sector, the banks will need to offer customers these kind of innovative services if they want ongoing customer loyalty,” said Peter Marshall, Mozo’s Data Manager.

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While banks here are yet to introduce services like Siri Payments for personal banking products, in May this year, Online bank UBank, launched RoboChat, artificially intelligent virtual assistant for online home loan enquiries, which is built using IBM’s question-answering computer system ‘Watson’.

Jo Kelly, Chief Marketing Officer at UBank told Mozo recently that the bank was always thinking about what’s next, and constantly innovating to improve what they offer their customers.

“We’ve barely scratched the surface with AI, but we’ve certainly taken a big leap, and the upcoming developments for RoboChat are very exciting,” she said.

“RoboChat will someday be able to understand and respond to customers based on what they’re feeling. Nothing beats a human touch and soon, RoboChat will be able to track if a customer is frustrated, curious or happy and tailor its response accordingly.”

Thinking of finding out how your bank compares in the innovation stakes? Check out our bank accounts comparison tool or read up on the latest fintech news.