SANTANDER IS FIRST UK BANK TO ENABLE CUSTOMERS TO MAKE PAYMENTS USING THEIR VOICE

13 February 2017

  • Secure and simple to use, customers can now make payments using their voice, check their account balance, report a lost card and ask about their spend within a particular time period
  • The technology differs from voice biometrics, which enables access to customer accounts by using voice as a password 
  • The new technology has initially been released to iOS SmartBank app users, as a customer pilot

Evidencing its commitment to creating a seamless customer experience, 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:

  • 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.

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The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

If you would like to speak to a spokesperson about the new voice banking technology please contact the press office.


Notes to Editors
Santander UK
is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 31 December 2016, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c20,000 employees and operates through 841 branches (which includes 60 university branches) and 67 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

About Us
Banco Santander
(SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, headquartered in Spain, with a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas. It is among the world’s top banks by market capitalization. The bank’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper, in a way that is simple, personal and fair. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.52 trillion in managed funds, 125 million customers, 12,200 branches and 188,000 employees at the close of 2016. Santander made attributable profit of EUR 6,204 million in 2016, an increase of 4% compared to the previous year.

Media Enquiries
Cecilia Cran      cecilia.cran@santander.co.uk      0207 756 4209

The press office operates from 8.00am to 6.00pm. Outside of these hours please call 0800 5877708.