In yet another step towards making online buying and other services completely voiced-based and hinged on its virtual assistant Alexa, Amazon on Wednesday announced that users in India can now pay their utility bills with Amazon Pay just by voice commands.
This new Alexa feature supports payment of bills across categories such as electricity, water, post-paid mobile, cooking gas, broadband and DTH among other utility payments. “Users of Amazon Echo, Fire TV Stick and other devices with Alexa built-in can just say commands such as ‘Alexa, pay my mobile bill’ or ‘Alexa, pay my electricity bill’ to get started,” the company said.
For existing Amazon Pay users, Alexa will retrieve the amount due for bills from their registered Amazon account and ask for customer confirmation before processing the payment. Customers can enable a voice pin on the Alexa app to make transactions more secure. Once approved, Alexa will complete the transaction using Amazon Pay, and send a notification to the customer’s registered mobile phone number, confirming the transaction. For new Amazon Pay customers, Alexa will send a link to register their bill details on the Amazon shopping app before proceeding with bill payment.
In addition to making payments, customers can ask Alexa the balance in the wallet and also command it to top it up from a bank account linked to Amazon Pay. This new feature on Alexa will further help in reducing payment friction as customers will be able to complete their payment transactions with just their voice command.
“This new integration of Amazon Pay with Alexa will help reduce both time and effort for customers who use Amazon Pay for bill payments and repeat similar transactions every month. We are also excited to share that this is an India-first feature which Alexa customers in India can enjoy before any other international customers,” Puneesh Kumar, Country Manager for Alexa Experiences and Devices, Amazon India said.
The company last month announced that Alexa can now speak in Hindi. Going forward it is planning to launch its voice assistant in a host of other Indian languages. Taking the competition to Google Assistant, Amazon is ramping up the usage of Alexa in India by tying up with speaker manufacturers, mobile phone companies to make Alexa the primary voice assistant on devices.
At the moment Alexa knows 500 skills in Hindi. In English Alexa can perform over 30,000 tasks. “Amazon Pay’s integration with Alexa will enable customers to use digital payments for their daily use cases making it hassle-free and swift. Paying of bills such as electricity, water, post-paid mobile, cooking gas, DTH and more will become seamless with just one voice command,” Mahendra Nerurkar, Director, Amazon Pay said.