Voice & Payments: Younger Generations to Drive Growth

March 7, 2019
Mitch Lepore

Even though payments may not be moving as quickly as other types of usage when it comes to voice assistants, new findings suggest that may be changing soon.


Payments Lagging Behind

Despite the fact that American households are becoming increasingly reliant on smart speakers and voice-activated technology like Google Home and Amazon Echo, there is still a significant gap when it comes to using this technology to carry out basic tasks around the household and making payments. A recent survey conducted by Speedpay® Pulse has revealed that while US adults are using smart speakers to do things like play music (29.8%) and set alarms (23.4%), only 7.4% of them are using them to make other forms of digital payments, like paying a bill.


Younger Demographic a Key Driver

The survey, which primarily focused on how households are paying their bills, brought fourth some interesting aspects in regards to demographics and their willingness to embrace new types of usage with their smart speakers.

First of all, while all generations are becoming increasingly fond of the technology, Millennials and Generation Zs are clearly the frontrunners for the highest adoption rates. Unsurprisingly, those in between the ages of 18-34 are most likely to embrace voice assistants, but perhaps more interestingly is the fact that even those aged 72-80 seem to be hopping on the voice train, with 16% of those in that age bracket admitting to using a smart speaker.


Image Source: Speedpay® Pulse


When it comes to payments specifically, there are clear parallels between the age of those most likely to adopt voice devices and those willing to make payments using them, with 34.2% of people aged 18-22 and 39.5% of people aged 23-34 stating a willingness to making more digital payments in voice form.


Image Source: Speedpay® Pulse


Voice Commerce

While it’s clear that there will need to be a fair degree of patience required when it comes to increased dependency on smart speakers for making payments, there are some very promising signs when looking at commerce specifically.

Earlier in 2018, a joint report between Visa and PYMNTS revealed that a third of those who owned a smart speaker have made a purchase on it. Additionally, the voice commerce industry as a whole is poised to experience a 1900% increase in growth, hitting $40 billion within the next four years.

If you’re an ecommerce business looking to capitalize on this growth, we compiled a list of ways you can take advantage of these trends.


Key Takeaways

There will be a plethora of new data that becomes available that speaks on elements like voice purchases, number of smart speakers purchased, and 2019 forecasts that help give us a clearer understanding of what the voice payment industry as a whole will look like in the new year (and the years to follow).

As stated above, a degree of patience will certainly be required, but not just in terms of waiting for younger demographics to become more proficient with voice-usage. A fair degree of this growth also lies upon the shoulders of companies, which will need to make a more concentrated effort to educate customers on new payment channels. By providing clear communication on how products can be purchased and payments can be made in voice-form – especially ahead of time – you’ll be putting yourself in a strong position to capitalize when adoption and commerce inevitably increases.

Take a proactive approach this year! You’ll likely be rewarded for your labor.


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