Technology has transformed the way many of us make everyday payments – and some recent announcements by banks have given a glimpse of what the future could hold.
Here’s a look at how payment innovations are changing our lives, and what may be just around the corner…
Four in 10 card transactions are now contactless
According to figures from trade association UK Finance, 40% of card transactions in the UK are now contactless.
Contactless spending surged by nearly a third last year as growing numbers of retailers and providers of other services such as public transport accept “tap and go” payments.
In 2018, UK customers spent £69 billion using contactless cards, a 31.8% increase on 2017.
They made 7.4 billion transactions using contactless cards in 2018, equating to 20 million a day. Of the 99 million debit cards in circulation, 82 million now have contactless functionality. In addition, 41 million of the 60 million credit cards in the UK are contactless.
You don’t need to know someone’s bank details to send cash
Some services enable people to send each other money simply by using their mobile phone number. This means you can pay with a few taps into your phone, rather than needing to know bank numbers and sort codes.
Barclays’ money-sharing app, Pingit, which links your mobile number to your bank account, launched in 2012 and now has 3.6 million users. A similar scheme called Paym is also available.
Your voice is your password
HSBC launched a scheme called VoiceID in 2016, which is used by more than 1.6 million of its customers. The voice biometrics system recognises the unique characteristics of a customer’s voice when people access their telephone banking.
After someone gives their account details, they say the phrase “My voice is my password” before being given access to their account.
The service works by recognising people’s “voice prints”, including speed and pronunciation. It also takes account of physical characteristics, such as the shape of the larynx, vocal tract and nasal passages.
The initiative is also helping to weed out fraudsters. More than 15,000 fraudulent calls have been identified, protecting customers’ money.
You may soon find you can pay with your fingerprint instead of your PIN
A new way of verifying card payments is being trialled by NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland. They are piloting a biometric fingerprint bank card with 200 customers. They will use their fingerprint to verify payments over £30 without the need to enter a PIN at the till.
Bank cards used in the trial will store information, which means people can verify payments by placing their finger over a box on the card, which is then swiped at the till.
The bank says the initiative is still in its early stages.
Finally, there are signs technology is changing our language
Research from Pingit revealed 30% of people surveyed believe changes to payments in the past 10 years are having an impact on the words they use. For example, talking about “tapping” to make card payments without entering a Pin or “pinging over” money.