Westpac launches Siri voice assistant banking

Posted: 19 September 2018 10:21 am

"Hey, Siri, can you send $50 to..."

Paying back your mates is about to get a whole lot easier. Announced today, Westpac customers will soon be able to use Siri voice technology to make payments. The launch of Siri for Westpac is an extension of the bank’s current iPhone banking app which allows customers to link their Westpac accounts to check their account balance through Siri.

Over the coming days, customers can ask Siri to make payments to any payee that is set up in their Westpac mobile app or ask to do some online banking from their Westpac transaction account.

It would be as simple as asking “Hey, Siri, pay John Citizen $20 for dinner.” Siri would then respond “Here is your Westpac payment of $20 to John Citizen. Do you want to send it?” You’ll then be prompted to input your fingerprint or face ID to authenticate the payment.

Westpac customers will also be able to use Siri to check up to three Westpac account balances that are Quick Balance-enabled in their banking app. Siri for Westpac is available to customers using the latest version of the Westpac mobile banking app and an iPhone operating iOS11 or later.

Westpac is the first Australian bank to offer Siri voice technology for personal banking, but research from the bank shows that almost one in two Australians (48%) use a voice assistant on their phone, with a third of this group relying on it at least once a day.

This same research also shows that nearly 1 in 5 Australians think that using smartphone voice assistance to transfer money could save them a considerable amount of time. In addition, 13% like the idea of not having to remember any passwords. This could lead to more seamless payments, considering the biggest roadblocks Australians face when transferring money via mobile include not having the bank details of the person they owe money to on hand (28%) and the length of time it takes to transfer someone money (14%). Using Siri could clear some of these roadblocks and make sending money that little bit easier.

Siri for Westpac follows the launch of Westpac Banking Skill for Amazon’s Alexa and Westpac for Google Assistant earlier this year. This week, the bank is also launching a new "You Owe Me" feature with Westpac for iMessage. As well as generating a Cardless Cash code and sharing your BSB and account details, customers can now also provide a specific amount owed when sharing these details via iMessage.

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