Samsung enables banking by voiceSamsung Electronics on Friday began offering voice-activated banking service through its voice-activated assistant Bixby, which comes with the company’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones.
The service is available on apps by Shinhan Bank, Woori Bank and KEB Hana Bank. All three will allow users to check their account balance and transfer money using Bixby.
Woori Bank’s app will also let customers request a currency exchange at a nearby branch through voice request, and KEB Hana Bank’s will answer clients’ questions about currency exchange rates.
The mechanism will tap into several tools already installed on Samsung Galaxy phones. While Bixby will process the user’s voice request, the payment app Samsung Pay will connect to the user’s bank account, and Samsung Pass, the phone’s biometric authentication service, will scan a user’s iris to verify identity.
“Through Bixby, Galaxy S8 users can gain access to banking services without using their fingers, just their voice,” the company said.
Before using the service, the user will have to download the bank’s app in Samsung Pay’s “Bank Services” menu. This is different from the bank’s official app on the Google Play and Apple App Store, as it is an app that specifically connects Samsung Pay to the bank. Registering the user’s iris for Samsung Pass is also a necessary step.
The process can take less time if the user designates the account that he or she uses the most, the company said.
Samsung Electronics said last month when it first released Bixby that it would be able to complete most tasks formerly done by touch, including those not performed by its rival service, Apple’s Siri. Whereas Siri is capable of conducting simpler requests like opening apps or playing music, Bixby is able to perform tasks on third-party apps, such as sharing a photo to Facebook.
However, the voice-activated assistant has faced one big hurdle - it still can’t understand English. The Wall Street Journal said that Bixby’s English version won’t likely be out until late June, adding that the service was “struggling to comprehend English syntax and grammar,” according to one of the company’s internal sources.
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [firstname.lastname@example.org]