PayPal Integrates Voice Commands in Time for Holiday Group Shopping

PayPal recently predicted that more than 17 million P2P transactions will occur during the month of December, as consumers – particularly millennials – pool money for gifts and use P2P payment apps to collect payment from each other.

According to the company’s Holiday Money Habits Study, an online survey of 1,000 American consumers released this week, half of millennials planned to go in on gifts together this holiday season compared to two-fifths of consumers in general.

But P2P payment apps haven’t taken over group gifting just yet. Of all the respondents who indicated they planned to pool their money, 75% of those said they would collect cash or checks in payment for the gift. Another 30% said they would use P2P apps to request their friends’ shares.

Streamlining this process even more, PayPal app devotees using their iPhones and iPads can now send and request money using voice commands to Siri. The company announced that the capability would be available to its users in 30 countries beginning on Nov. 10.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean that anyone who picks up the iPhone you leave at the table at the restaurant will be able to send money to themselves.

A PayPal spokesperson told that every transaction is authenticated, either through Touch ID within the Siri request or via the PayPal app for those who do not have TouchID enabled with PayPal.

With the introduction of iOS 10 in September, Apple opened up Siri to allow developers to integrate its voice commands into their apps. Square Cash and Venmo also have integrated the ability to pay with Siri into their apps.