Mobile biometric authentication company Daon is presently developing a peer-to-peer payments solution for Amazon's artificial intelligence assistant Alexa which would allow its users to easily send their money to friends, family, or anyone else by simply verbally instructing their digital helper to do so. The technology is still in an experimental phase of development and no partners that that will utilize the service have yet been announced, though Daon Chief Executive Officer Tom Grissen told CNET the company's "banking and financial customers" are both eager to do so. The firm previously collaborated with Mastercard on the financial giant's selfie authentication solution for mobile payments, with that relationship adding credence to the possibility that the New York-incorporated company eventually ends up adopting the new technology.
Daon's peer-to-peer payment service is planned to be delivered in the form of a conventional Alexa Skill and is currently on course to become the first app of its kind, with no similar solutions being announced to date. Its overall prospects remain unclear, with peer-to-peer payments already being an established feature of mobile devices, a much more ubiquitous product category. The current version of the platform requires users to add people to whom they might send money in the future as potential payees to their profiles, then instruct Alexa to "open the Daon Bank." From there, they can tell the assistant to send a specific sum to one of their previously inputted contacts, after which they'll have to authorize the transaction via a corresponding mobile app that can verify their identity with a selfie, fingerprint, voice recognition, or a traditional PIN. The solution should hence be just as secure as more conventional peer-to-peer services for sending cash yet its ability to compete with them may be inhibited by the fact that it requires the involvement of two devices instead of just one.
Going forward, the process may be streamlined by relying on Alexa's own voice recognition capabilities but doing so presently isn't possible as Amazon prevents developers from grabbing audio snippets recorded by the devices running its digital companion. The Daon Bank Alexa Skill still doesn't have a firm availability window attached to it but is likely to exclusively target the U.S. market when it's initially launched.