PayPal has updated its iOS app to integrate with the iOS personal assistant, Siri, which will allow users to use natural voice queries to send and receive money.
Siri is the voice-based virtual assistant embedded into the iOS devices, and can be used to set reminders, answer questions and help with tasks.
At launch, the new feature will be available in 30 languages, spanning an array of languages including English, French, Finnish, German, Italian and Hebrew among others. It also works just like the Apple’s voice recognition tool so only the known owner of the device can use the voice commands.
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With PayPal predicting more than 17 million P2P transactions in the month of December alone, transferring money to someone is now as easy as saying “Hey Siri, send Bill $50 using PayPal.” The company also offered on its blog several example command strings that invoke the new feature including: “Use PayPal to send $125 to Jenny for groceries,” and “Request $20 from Dad with PayPal.”
As is the case with PayPal transactions, after the user sends the money, the recipient will receive an email to inform him that someone paid him some cash. He can then log in with his PayPal account, or create a new one, to accept the funds.
PayPal’s Siri integration comes nearly two months after Apple officially opened Siri APIs to third-party developers. Interestingly, PayPal subsidiary Venmo was the first to add Siri support in September, followed by other competitors such Square Cash and money transfer outfit Azimo.
The use of voice-based assistants is playing an increasingly key role in managing the way we operate our digital lives. Technology companies continues to invest in their virtual assistants, with both Amazon and Google having recently launched speaker hubs while Microsoft has its own assistant, called Cortana, built into Windows 10.