Singapore’s OCBC Bank has become the first bank in Asia Pacific to let customers send cash by issuing a voice command to Apple’s virtual assistant Siri, and via the iMessage.

The OCBC Pay Anyone mobile e-payment service is available to all OCBC customers using iPhone devices running the iOS10 software and the latest OCBC Mobile Banking app.

To send money using Siri, consumers just need to instruct the virtual assistant with a voice command indicating whom from their contact list to send money to, and the amount to send.

Users can also send money via iMessage by selecting the OCBC Pay Anyone iMessage app to initiate the payment directly to the person they are chatting with.

The e-payment service is designed by bank’s in-house mobile developer E-Business and Group Customer Experience teams.

OCBC Bank head of e-business Singapore Aditya Gupta said: “We know that customers now prefer their banking to be embedded in other things they do, rather than having to start their interaction journey from a bank’s platform.

“We’re pleased to add these two new channels – Siri and iMessage – for customers to make payments with OCBC Pay Anyone. We are integrating payments into our customers’ everyday lives and making it completely frictionless for them to engage us via actions that are second nature to them – using messaging and voice commands.

“Last month, we increased the OCBC Pay Anyone daily transfer limit from $100 to $1,000 and, since then, the amount of money being sent via our e-payment service has increased 250 per cent. We expect e-payments to have a multi-fold increase and will continue to add more payment channels for customers to our suite of digital services.”