Voice banking arrives on home virtual assistants

Image Credit: iStockphoto/Chesky_W

Amazon’s Echo device has been one of the biggest tech hits of the last year, with some estimates suggesting the firm sold more than nine million of the gadgets in the 2016 holiday season alone.

As the tools appear in more homes around the world and more companies develop add-ons for the platform, users can expect to be able to do a lot more than control their thermostats and start Spotify playlists using its Alexa voice-activated virtual assistant.

Indeed, banking activities may be the next step for the device. D3 Banking recently launched a new intelligent voice banking service for Alexa, which it said will offer a valuable new way for banks and credit unions to connect with customers.

Mark Vipond, chief executive of D3 Banking, said that while voice assistants may currently be seen as a novelty by many people, the technology is becoming increasingly advanced, while the artificial intelligence behind it is expected to play an integral role in improving consumers’ banking experience in the coming years.

“By offering voice activated banking for our consumer and small business solutions, we are breaking down the barriers of friction and need for special knowledge from end users,” he continued.

The voice interface will allow consumers to check balances, transfer money between accounts, listen to messages and manage their financial goals using simple voice commands. D3 will also analyze the data it collects from these interactions to offer personalized responses with strategic marketing and calls to action.

Finextra also suggested that potential future applications for banking via Alexa could include adding automatic voice calling features to connect a consumer directly with a bank’s contact centre. This capability is not yet something the Echo has, but is reported to be an addition to the platform that is under consideration.

While D3’s voice banking offering is currently also designed for integration with Alexa, it expects to add other virtual assistants such as Google Home in the future.

Written by Jack Dougal