Making purchases with your voice is convenient, but it’s far from secure. Google is attempting to change that when using Assistant by introducing an optional voice verification test.
As The Verge reports, the new security feature relies on Google Assistant’s Voice Match and it’s being rolled out slowly as part of a limited pilot program to test how well it works with smart speakers and smart displays. The Voice Match training feature was updated recently to include phrases so that Assistant could more accurately determine who is issuing commands.
With better accuracy, Google clearly feels Voice Match is good enough to now act as an extra layer of security. Once enabled, your Voice Match profile will be used whenever a purchase is made through Assistant using your voice. However, for now the verification on purchases is limited to in-app through Google Play or restaurant orders. As it’s a pilot program, you can expect that restriction to be lifted once Google has fixed any bugs that appear.
Google does warn as part of the setup process that the security offered by Voice Match verification isn’t perfect. If someone has a similar voice to you, Assistant can still be tricked into thinking it’s you, but opting to enable purchase confirmations is still worthwhile considering how unlikely someone with the same voice is going to be attempting to purchase items through your devices.