How Apple’s Siri will soon help you make payments and track personal finances


At WWDC this week we learned about many ways Apple plans to make Siri smarter, many of which will have to do with your money. Starting with iOS 11, Siri will be able to help you search for and pay bills, as well as access to checking, savings, and credit card accounts.

“We are extending our support further this year by adding our support for accounts. Users will now be able to transfer money from one account to another or search for account information,” said Sirikit engineer Sirisha Yerroju. “If the user wants to know more about each account, you can just click on any of the items to get a detailed view. Search for account intent not just shows all the accounts but can also be used to provide specific account information.”

Yerroju spoke in a session Wednesday titled “What’s New With Sirikit?” Some of the changes coming to Siri were announced onstage during the keynote address Monday, such as the ability to do on-the-spot translations, personalized recommendations in native apps within iOS 11 like Safari, Maps, and News, and both male and female versions of the assistant will get a more expressive voice.

Other Siri-related announcements made during the keynote address include the arrival of HomePod, Apple’s answer to smart speakers like Google Home or Amazon Echo, and a Siri theme is coming to the Apple Watch (ICYMI, here’s everything Apple announced at WWDC).

Payments with Siri isn’t entirely new. The ability to send or request payments with Siri was initially introduced last fall with the release of iOS 10. What’s new and coming with iOS 11 is the ability to interact with apps that scan QR codes for payments.

A QR code scanner will live in the native camera on IOS 11, which can be used for payments and social media contact codes like the kinds seen from Snapchat or Facebook Messenger.

With iOS 11, Siri will also be able to recognize account nicknames and talk with a user about things like credit card reward points.

Beyond the addition of banking category intents, Siri will now be able to do a lot more with lists and reminders, including the ability to create reminders based on time and location. Say “Remind me to print the slides when I get to work” and Siri will remind you when you are physically standing at your job.

“We’ve added all the apis to ensure users can edit, create, manage their lists and notes and reminders, not just that, but also users will be able to search in their lists and notes.”

Also coming soon: Developers will be able to customize cards generated by Siri that’s let’s people interact with an app.

Above: Examples of customized interactive cards developers will be able to create for iOS 11