Santander is first bank in UK to let customers make payments using just their voice

Santander is pleased to be the first UK bank to enable customers to make payments using their voice. This new technology follows the successful launch of voice assistant banking, introduced last year and the enhanced functionality means the tool now understands commands such as:

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  • Pay Julia £30 tomorrow
  • How much did I spend on holiday?
  • I’ve lost my card; and
  • What is my balance?

Ed Metzger, Head of Technology Innovation at Santander said: “The worlds of technology and banking continue to evolve at pace, working hand in hand to deliver a friction-free user experience. We are excited to be the first UK high street bank to enable customers to make payments using just their voice, offering them another channel of choice in how they wish to bank.

“Appetite for simple, intuitive banking solutions has grown significantly in recent years. This pioneering technology has huge potential to become an integral part of the future banking experience, playing a transformational role in the industry and redefining how customers choose to manage their money.”

Once customers have logged on to the SmartBank app, they can then use their voice to make payments to existing payees. Transactions appear in real time, retailers are highlighted by name, spend can be calculated by day, month or year and customers with a 1|2|3 credit card can also ask about the cashback they have earned. This makes it clearer for customers to identify and understand their spending. So, if they wish to know the total amount spent at a certain supermarket or store this year, the tool adds it up for them, saving them time.

Voice assistant banking can also be a useful tool for vulnerable customers who prefer to bank from home and find speaking easier than typing or using online banking. Voice assistant complements our approach to intelligent technology developed and supported by the bank. Other examples include sign language banking and our Spendlytics app.

The technology is provided by Nuance Communications, a leading provider of voice and language solutions.