Now Canadian diners can ask Siri to help them split the bill.

On Thursday PayPal Holdings, Inc. announced a Siri integration for its iOS app: Canadian iPhone users can now ask Apple Inc.’s automated assistant to send or request money through PayPal.

“You’re out for brunch with friends and Adam picks up the tab,” PayPal’s senior director of core consumer products, Meron Colbeci, said in a Nov. 10 release. “Now you can tell Siri to pay Adam the $20 you owe him. Siri asks you to confirm if you want to use PayPal to send the money and you’re done. If you have two Adams in your contact book, Siri asks you to confirm which Adam you would like to send the money to.”

The new integration in action. (Courtesy PayPal)
The new integration in action. (Courtesy PayPal)

Effective money transfers can be serious business, Colbeci noted, citing a 2015 PayPal study that found the average Canadian was owed $462 because they felt it was too awkward or embarrassing to ask for their loan back, and that 30 per cent of Canadian participants had lost a friend over IOUs.

Though executed through Siri, the transfers are conducted as normal PayPal transactions, with users receiving an instant email or text notification prompting them to log in to PayPal to receive the money. If they don’t have a PayPal account they must sign up for one, and both senders and receivers must verify their identity before sending or receiving transfers. The money then shows up in their PayPal balance, which they can either spend with PayPal or transfer to their bank account.

P2P (peer-to-peer) payments have long been big business for PayPal. Last year the company facilitated $41 billion in P2P transfers across the world – a 42 per cent increase over 2014 – and the company expects to facilitate more than 17 million global peer-to-peer transactions in December alone.

Its iOS app’s new Siri feature is available in both English and French, and can be used by iPhones running iOS 10 or above. It was released in 30 countries including Canada.

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