Mobility

AI chatbots and voice assistants growing as tools for shopping, paying bills, banking

Users are shifting from simple requests to more complex e-commerce tasks on the devices, new Mastercard and Mercator research found.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • 66% of US adults use voice assistants or chatbots, and 87% are aware of the technologies. — Mastercard and Mercator, 2018.
  • 21% of US adults use voice assistants or chatbots to perform e-commerce tasks like paying bills or online banking. — Mastercard and Mercator, 2018.

The majority of US adults are using voice assistants and chatbots, and a growing sector of them are performing e-commerce tasks with the technologies, new Mastercard and Mercator research found.

Out of the 66% of 3,000 US adults surveyed who use the assistants, 21% are using them in the commerce space for more complex tasks, the report said. Normally used for simple tasks, the technology may be growing due to increased consumer trust and understanding.

General e-commerce tasks, like shopping, were the most popular, with 21% of users saying they performed the task. Payments were second with 16%, and online banking had 7%, the report found.

SEE: Guidelines for building security policies (Tech Pro Research)

While the report found around two-thirds of consumers were satisfied with their e-commerce experiences using the technologies, privacy and security categories did not score as high. Text-based agents scored 53% and 51% for privacy and security satisfaction, respectively, while voice agents scored 41% and 45% in the same categories.

To protect information when using NLP assistants, Mastercard recommends using a secure Wi-Fi network, adding any additional authentication the voice assistant offers, being careful of unusual links, and using a credit card with liability protection.

Many digital assistants are used via smart speakers. The vast majority-94%-of current smart speakers are from Google and Amazon, according to a Strategy Analytics report. However, Apple's HomePod is set to launch on February 9, and may take some of the market share as it may collect less user data and be more private.

Smart speakers are predicted to be the biggest consumer technology in 2018, and Mastercard found that 21% of respondents had heard of the technologies but hadn't begun using them. As consumers begin to integrate the technology into their lives, businesses should look at ways they can use these new channels to reach new markets and better serve current consumers.

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Image: Mastercard

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is an Education Reporter at Insider Louisville.

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