Planet Payment Inc. has announced a merchant pilot test for its ShopByVoice mobile-commerce product.
The product is intended to let people do credit card transactions for products offered by participating merchants through a toll-free call to a number where they can authenticate themselves by voice, said Marc Reiser, the chief marketing officer at the Long Beach, N.Y., payment processor.
"When consumers call in, they can hear products and descriptions and make selections," Reiser said. Consumers set up accounts that include their personal information and credit card data. Voice biometrics, not personal identification numbers, secure the accounts.
Planet Payment worked with PerSay Ltd., an Israeli company, to develop the voice-biometric aspect of ShopByVoice, he said.
Planet Payment is testing ShopByVoice with small and midsize merchants that operate single-store and multistore businesses, he said; he would not identify the participating merchants.
"They can feature it in their print ads, on their Web sites, but especially in e-mail and text campaigns," Reiser said.
Merchants pay setup, transaction and monthly fees for ShopByVoice, but those in the test do not have to pay the setup fee, he said.
The challenge Planet Payment faces is the difficulty of getting consumers to opt for alternative payment methods over existing ones, said Nick Holland, a senior analyst at the Boston research firm Aite Group.
"The killer in developed markets," he said, "is the preexistence of [payment options such as] credit cards, debit cards and cash."