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Student News

Barclays launches voice-activated banking with Siri

If you’re a Barclays customer, you can now transfer money without even opening your mobile banking app.

Mobile banking siri

The UK bank has teamed up with Apple’s voice-activated virtual assistant, Siri, to allow you to send payments to either existing payees within your online banking or people saved in your phone contacts.

You don’t need to put in any passwords or even open your banking app. Goodbye long-winded online banking sessions!

Barclays have explained that this new technology will enable its customers to move money around “virtually hands-free”.

Raheel Ahmed, head of customer experience and channels at Barclays, said:

Barclays has a long history of introducing innovative new products and services to give our customers choice in how they bank. We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the world's first ATM, which was introduced to provide customers with 24/7 access to their money for the first time ever.

The introduction of Siri payments to mobile banking customers is another step forward, giving flexibility and greater choice for all our customers.

How does it work?

As a Barclays mobile banking customer, all you need to do is say "Hey Siri, pay [mum] £25 with Barclays." You then authenticate it with the Touch ID fingerprint recognition which comes with the latest iPhones, ensuring this is a secure method of transferring money.

However, you’ll only be able to make use of this if you have an iOS device (either iPhone or iPad) with Touch ID and running iOS 10+.

Once you have this, you can enable Siri Payments in the Barclays Mobile Banking app by clicking on the ‘More’ menu and choosing ‘Manage Payments’.

What does the future look like?

The UK population is constantly turning to new and quicker ways to bank. According to the British Bankers’ Association and accounting firm EY, nearly 20 million Britons used banking apps on their smartphones last year – about 38% of the UK adult population, and an increase of 11% on 2015.

Meanwhile, mobile transactions increased by a whopping 57%.

Fingerprint ID has also been growing in popularity over recent years, with Barclays and HSBC among the banks to offer it as a way for customers to log in to online banking.

Iris scanning

However, iris scanning looks to be the future for security as it's the most secure form of biometric authentication. It boasts 266 unique characteristics, compared to just 40 for fingerprints.

TSB announced last month that it was the first European bank to launch iris recognition, enabling customers to access mobile banking using an iris scanner.

But the exciting news doesn't end there! From this September, customers with a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ will be able to unlock their banking app, whatever the bank, using the Samsung Pass iris scanner.

Some food for thought! How do these advances in technology make you feel? Are you excited by the changes and looking forward to making use of them? Or would you rather get your head around managing your finances before worrying about all these extras?

If the thought of organising your cash for uni is stressing you out, check out this guide to the best student bank accounts this year for some top tips.  


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