I think we all agree that the name "Alexa" has developed new meaning over the past two years. Alexa, the voicebot behind the Amazon Echo products, recognizes human voices and completes tasks as instructed. Alexa has made user lives easier, as Amazon Echo product sales have increased drastically since becoming available in 2014.
Some reports show that the majority of consumers are aware of the Amazon Echo device with millions of consumers owning. While Alexa provides over 10,000 skills for users, most people are unaware that a small number of those are banking and finance related. With the use of Alexa skills, you now have the ability and flexibility to bank from home, using only voice commands.
Alexa: The Brains Behind the Machine
Alexa, the voicebot behind the Amazon Echo, responds to user commands. By adding Alexa skills to their Echo devices, Alexa provides them with the capability to connect to tasks and complete them through the device. Use Alexa to order a pizza or play classical music, as these are just two of thousands of Alexa skills. As mentioned above, banking and finance related skills make up only 400 of the 10,000 skills available.
Banks Have Gone Mobile
Gone are the days of waiting in line at the bank to deposit a paycheck or balancing your checkbook via hand-written ledgers. Today, most banks and credit unions offer some form of mobile banking options, either online or through mobile apps. Currently, over half of the US population uses their smartphones for at least one mobile banking transaction. Even so, Millennials are driving the market for mobile banking, preferring to perform transactions using a mobile banking app. For this reason, they utilize more online-based banks without brick and mortar locations, increasing the reliance on mobile banking.
Alexa: Expanding the Digital Banking Experience
Conversational devices provide another opportunity for banks to expand the digital experience to customers. Building specific Alexa skills allows users to check account balances, pay bills, and find information such as interest rates provides another opportunity to connect with users. Currently, Capital One is the only nationwide bank to utilize Alexa Skills. Some of their features include allowing customers to get reminders on payment due dates, to check credit card and bank account balances, as well as to track their spending at certain retailers or on certain items.
The increasing reliance on digital banking indicates the need for more opportunities for customers to utilize flexible on-the-go banking. Conversational devices allow users to complete bank transactions at home, simplifying the banking experience.