Santander launches voice banking technology

Santander has announced the release of UK's first voice banking technology, allowing its customers to use their banking services fully by simply talking to their smartphone.

The bank's customers, using the SmartBank app on Apple's iOS, will now be able to use the app with voice commands. The rollout has been split into two parts, the initiation phase – made to help people learn the basics of the new feature, and the advanced phase, which will unlock all the advanced features.

The initiation phase is available now, while the advanced one will be released 'later this year'. No exact date has been specified.

The first phase allows users to ask the app some simple questions and get answers for things like last week's transactions, or how much money was spent in a specific place.

The advanced phase will allow users to make payments, report lost cards or set up various alerts.

“Technology is rapidly changing how customers bank and pay on the move,” said Nathan Bostock, chief executive officer at Santander UK. We want banking to be simple, personal and fair and we believe technology, like voice banking, will play a transformational role in the way we add value by creating more choice and convenience for our customers.”

The app can sort spending by day, week or month, and also by different retailers where purchases have been made. That can make it clearer for customers, and easier to track their spending, the company said in a press release.