December 7, 2017
Paying by voice, a nascent card-not-present commerce channel that figures to gain momentum in 2018, got a concrete boost when Amazon announced it will enable developers to add payment capability to voice apps sold in the Alexa Skills Store. The Seattle-based e-commerce titan said at the recent AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas that certain skills categories will be able to incorporate Amazon Pay, allowing Amazon digital assistant users to pay for items using their voice.
During its announcement, Amazon said skills categories likely to integrate the ability to pay by voice soonest include games, donations, event ticketing and restaurant ordering. Immediately following Amazon’s news, TGI Fridays became the first restaurant to roll out a skill for Alexa that includes payment. The popular restaurant chain said users can now ask Alexa to make reservations, place to-go orders and pay using the payment credentials stored in their Amazon account.
“The launch of online ordering and our commitment to digital innovation has resulted in significant growth in our to-go business, with more than 70 percent of those orders coming from new Fridays customers,” said Stephanie Perdue, chief marketing officer at TGI Fridays. “As we continue to innovate, we’re focused on creating digital programming with industry leaders like Amazon that make the Fridays experience more convenient for guests to recreate at home.”