"Alexa, how much money do I have?"

"Alexa, how much money do I have?"
Posted: Feb 13, 2018
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The Practicality of AI for Voice Banking

In a recent article on titled Trellance Predictions for 2018, Artificial Intelligence (AI) was touted as having “become a must-have in the everchanging market. Credit unions need to make AI a part of their strategy to continue competing in the payments and lending space.”

The prediction made at the beginning of the year was that “We will see an increase of AI technology in consumer lending, customer (member) interaction/retention, payments and fraud detection.” Following up on the topic of “AI” with the intent of offering additional insight and feedback as the market continues to evolve, and more importantly what our member credit unions are planning or implementing, we found that the interesting part of AI is that it is not focused on one area but offers a variety of solutions for data analytics, voice banking and many others. The continued rise in Fintech providers has made the industry become more competitive, as there are so many options.


While a lot of information on AI seems to focus on ways to manage data, an area that has become extremely popular in a short span of time, all while seeing tremendous growth, is Voice Banking using Smart Speakers. Just under 3 years ago, a new generation of the smart speaker was born through Amazon Echo. Not only is the device connected 24/7, but it allows consumers the ability to access their account and make changes without having the device in their hand and even from across the room using voice recognition. This is a great technological advantage for our fast pace lifestyles. With the introduction of voice banking, consumers can add their banking needs into a day spent multi-tasking. For example, the consumer is busy preparing dinner and at the same time completes an account transfer or checks the status of an account. While never taking their eyes off the current task at hand. This advantage will continue to make banking interactions more and more convenient for a consumer.


According to Gartner, 75% of households will have smart speakers by 2020, a mere six years after introduction – twice the rate of adoption of smartphones and more than four times the rate of adoption of personal computers. Surely, the lower cost of smart speakers compared to phones and personal computers have attributed to this growth, along with the continued push in technological advancements to create faster consumer solutions.    


Source: Gartner


In retrospect, within just 2 short years more consumers (your members) will have a smart speaker in their home. This certainly makes the argument stronger for credit unions to have a solution in place to remain competitive. There are certainly many options available to offer a teller in your members’ home any time day or night. While we may be a long way from digital devices replacing the need to have traditional face to face interactions, the growing trend is to allow some interactions, keeping the convenience for the consumer in mind. The Amazon Echo has made the interaction with a smart speaker easy to use in just a few words;  


“Alexa, open banking with my secret phrase.”

“Alexa, how much money do I have?”

“Alexa, move sixty-three dollars from savings to checking.”

“Alexa, how much did I spend at Whole Foods last month?”

“Alexa, pay mortgage from my checking account.”


In the ever-changing payments landscape, AI remains a must-have strategy in your planning arsenal. What are your immediate and future plans as it pertains to AI at your credit union? We would certainly like to hear from you. As technology continues to change and at faster paces, stay tuned for more content on AI as the year progresses.

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Dave Chojnacki

Dave ChojnackiDave Chojnacki

Dave has more than 10 years of relationship management experience and holds a Credit Union Compliance Expert (CUCE) Designation from CUNA. He currently serves as Director of Consulting Services at Trellance.

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