The day is coming when your virtual assistant will be able to sell you insurance and let you check your bank or brokerage account at the simple command of your voice!
Alexa to the rescue!
Amazon’s voice-activated Echo now has the capability to let you pay a bill, get an insurance quote or check your investment account with simple voice prompts. Fidelity Investments and Capital One, among others in the financial world, are among the first to get on board with this innovative new technology.
According to the Boston Globe, Fidelity customers can check their account balances by talking to Alexa. (For those not in the know, Alexa is the voice of Amazon’s Echo just as Siri is the personal assistant voice of the iPhone.) Capital One even allows you to pay your mortgage or auto loan on the Echo!
Some industry insiders are now predicting the rise of in-home voice-activated devices may hasten the death of brick-and-mortar banking. After all, if you can get help with almost any financial transaction from a device like Echo or its competitors, why would you ever go to a bank branch?
Amazon is far from the only one offering hands-free help via a virtual assistant. Google rolls out Google Home next month. Meanwhile, Jibo and iRobot (the maker of the Roomba) are working on robot home assistants that will take conversational commands from you.
Still to be ironed out are issues with voice recognition. Capital One reports that Alexa failed to understand ‘that’s all’ signaled an end to the conversation, so it continued asking the user more questions. And in the future, the Echo will have a better grasp on vocal inflections so it can pick up on user frustration and know when to shut up!
Read more: 5 ways to maximize your savings on Amazon