Besides asking Bixby to call your mom, now you can send her money, too


Image: LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

You could be one step closer to asking your voice assistant to do your banking chores.

Samsung is partnering with three of South Korea’s largest banks — Shinhan, Woori and KEB Hana — to integrate Bixby, the tech giant’s voice assistant, with mobile banking, Yonhap reports

Bixby — which is shipped with Samsung’s Galaxy S8 — can make financial transactions through voice command via Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass, and users who have an account with Woori Bank can make currency exchange transactions by Bixby.

Users verify who they are by using the S8’s fingerprint or iris scanner, which is integrated with Samsung Pass, the tech giant’s answer to Apple’s Touch ID.

It’s expected to eliminate the need for two-factor authentication and drastically shorten the time it takes to make a bank transaction. A user’s biometric data is encrypted and stored on the device — and as Samsung claims, users cannot cheat its iris scanners using pictures. 

The same principle applies on other devices, like Apple’s Touch ID, which uses a separate chip to process your biometric data.

You can use Bixby to identify things, too.

You can use Bixby to identify things, too.

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

That three of Korea’s largest banks agreed to partner with Samsung is indicative of how banks are beginning to trust big tech firms with biometric security. E-payment systems like Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Android Pay already use biometric data to authenticate users — so using biometric data to access banking information would be the a next logical step.

Still, not using two-factor authentication has its risks — the dongle that some banks provide when you sign up for online banking allows you to add another layer of security to your account, because you’ll need both your dongle and your phone or computer to sign in.

So it’s yet to be seen if other mainstream banks will partner with major tech firms to integrate banking functions to voice assistants.

If Bixby manages to get over its difficulties understanding English, we could see banking integrations occur on the English-language version of the voice assistant. 

When Samsung launched Samsung Pass with the Galaxy Note 7 last year, it initially partnered with six banks — Bank of America, Citi, and US Bank, on top of the three major Korean banks — for Samsung Pass to authenticate access to users’ bank accounts. 

Like Samsung Pass, integration with Bixby could be extended to third-party developers and banks, so banking by voice command could eventually become ubiquitous. 

Thankfully, your voice assistant won’t judge how little money you have. Yet.

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