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18 Million To Use Voice Payments This Year, On Way To 78 Million

Voice assistants have taken off and now it looks like voice payments are right behind.

Eight percent of U.S. adults already have used some form of voice payments, which include voice commerce, such as using speech to buy via Amazon Alexa, voice-initiated person-to-person payments and voice-controlled bill payments.

These are among the findings in a new study on voice payments by BI Intelligence.

While 18 million people will use voice payments this year, by 2022 it will grow to 78 million, almost a third of the U.S. population, according to BII estimates based on a survey of 950 members of its panel.

An obvious main driver fueling voice payments is more voice-capable hardware. For example, 77% of U.S. consumers now own a smartphone and 51% own a tablet. This year, 75% of iPhone owners have used Siri and 63% of Android phone owners have used a virtual assistant on their device.

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Another factor is the increase in the adoption of smart speaker devices like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home. That number is only going up, with BI Intelligence projecting the number of smart home devices to rise from 39 million this year to 73 million in five years.

This is not to say that consumers have a lot of faith in making payments by voice. Most trusted is Apple Siri (29%) followed by Amazon Alexa (17%).

Artificial intelligence also is aiding the move to vice payments. The ability for computers to understand speech and machine learning both are getting better over time.

There are plenty of reason consumers want to use voice, with saving time at the top of the list. 

As in pretty much any new technological capability adoption, there are reasons that hold some people back. For example, security is an expressed concern in just about every every IoT study.

As more consumers adopt more voice assistant devices, more purchasing of things will grow. It is generally easier to say something rather than type it.

It increasingly will be up to the technology to make sure it heard correctly and placed the right order.

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