Santander, Europe’s seventh largest bank has announced it will be piloting making payments through its consumer app, using voice recognition.

This is very much in keeping with the company’s embrace of innovation; Santander claimed to be the first European bank to use blockchain a year ago.

In common with all the major finance institutions, the rush to innovation is focused on the ‘channel shift’, pushing consumers towards online services rather than face-to-face, allowing the closure of branches and the reduction of staffing headcount.

Ed Metzger, Santander’s Head of Innovation said;

“This pioneering technology has huge potential to become an integral part of the future banking experience, playing a transformational role in the industry and redefining how customers to choose to manage their money”.

…a snoozeworthy management-speak quote that shows that banks’ comms teams are far less innovative than their tech teams. Seriously, no-one with a job title as awesome as “Head of Innovation” could be that banal in real life.

But putting this to one side, what if they went a step further and added an AI element?

Could I find myself in a KTV at 1am asking my phone to stump up for another bottle of Chivas, only to find my phone suggesting I call a taxi instead?

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