Patrick Gauthier, vice president of Amazon Pay, said voice payment through digital assistants will transform the payments industry in the same way mobile phones did, according to a report by CNBC.
He said the technology is a “new era in commerce. It is akin to what happened with mobile maybe 10 years ago or even with eCommerce 20 years ago.”
Apple’s Homepod, Google’s Home and Amazon’s Echo are the most rapid-selling segment of consumer technology since mobile phones, according to eMarketer.
As artificial intelligence becomes more and more ubiquitous, Gauthier says the move toward shopping by voice in inevitable.
Strategy consultants OC&C predicted last year that smart speakers would be the impetus for a huge jump in voice shopping. The firm said the industry was going to grow to upwards of $40 billion in 2022, an increase of $2 billion. Others say voice commerce could rise to as much as $80 billion by 2023.
Gauthier said that through a survey, Amazon Pay found that about 40 percent of people would use voice assistants over the course of the next three years.
“The potential is phenomenal,” Gauthier said. “Just like mobile 10 years ago, there is a lot we need to learn. There is lot we need to understand about what are the right use cases because trying to do with a smart assistant what already works well in a mobile would be really a waste of everybody’s time.”
What may be holding many consumers back from making the leap to voice shopping, however, are the potential security risks.
Almost one half of all those surveyed by Amazon Pay said security and protection of financial data was their most important concern, and about 34 percent said they wouldn’t trust voice assistants to select what they wanted accurately.
“We are exploring how to augment the customer experience before, during and after the purchase,” Gauthier said.