Barclays is set to become the first UK high street bank to launch payments using Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, allowing customers to make payments using their voice.

The new technology enables customers to transfer money virtually hands free which makes secure banking easier, faster and simpler for all customers, including those with additional needs.

The Siri integration means BMB customers won’t need to open the app to pay existing payees or mobile contacts, they can simply ask Siri such as “Pay John £15 with Barclays”. Payments are authenticated by the user with Apple’s TouchID fingerprint recognition ensuring maximum security without the need to remember their passcode.

Barclays has a substantial heritage of innovating with new technology to make all customers’ lives easier; from using voice biometric data to improve security and combat fraud or introducing talking ATMs to improve accessibility.

Raheel Ahmed, Head of Customer Experience and Channels at Barclays commented: “Barclays has a long history of introducing innovative new products and services to give our customers choice in how they bank. We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the world’s first ATM, which was introduced to provide customers with 24/7 access to their money for the first time ever. The introduction of Siri payments to mobile banking customers is another step forward, giving flexibility and greater choice for all our customers.”

City Minister, Steve Barclay said: “50 years ago Barclays created the first ATM and it’s great to see that half a century on they’re still innovating. Using Siri to make payments is another step forward in making banking easier, quicker and more flexible for people across Britain.

‘This is further proof that the UK is at the cutting edge of developing financial technology which truly delivers for consumers.”