Voice Commerce to Be a Top Trend in 2018, IDC Reports

Technology and financial services innovation in 2018 will focus on consumer interfaces, particularly voice, according to the latest IDC Market Spotlight, "Payments Trends to Watch in 2018," which highlights new channels, networks, and opportunities for retailers.

In the next 24 months, IDC forecasts 30 billion devices will be connected to the internet. 2018 will bring a serious discussion on how merchants and their vendors will contend with new channels, especially voice-enabled commerce through in-home devices, chatbots initiating payments on social networks, and connected devices managing purchasing decisions and payments. In 2018 alone, those connected devices will initiate $150 billion in transactions, according to the Electronic Transactions Association, which sponsored the IDC research.

"Voice is a natural way to communicate and it will become a very important part of commerce as we move forward," said James Wester, research director at IDC, in a statement. "2018 will be the year we see voice commerce provide a seamless and easier way to make a payment."

In 2018, the Market Spotlight concludes that financial institutions and payment technology vendors must focus on their preparedness in the face of this rapid buildout of IoT and the assignment of customer identities and accounts to connected devices.

Other trends noted in the report include upgrades to point-of-sale hardware and software, transmission networks, and security.

"We see how important data is, and vendors will need to be able to answer questions on how secure are new technologies like AI, voice, and even cryptocurrencies," Wester said. "As consumers assign their identities and the financial accounts to those identities to object and items, such as cars and devices, the risk to the system grows."

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