Business cases

5 inspiring ways to use Voice Assistants in Banking

Kasia Cieslak
Kasia Cieslak
July 4, 2019
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What do customers expect from Banks?

The development of voice technologies makes them reach more and more users. The advantage of this process is the rapid adaptation and popularization of voice interfaces among very diverse age groups. The fact that VUI (Voice User Interfaces) may be the best intergenerational link, nobody needs to be convinced. However, for each generation, there are different expectations regarding technology.

Available voice solutions in the financial industry focus on covering five customer needs:

  • check account status
  • order payments for bills
  • check documents required for loans
  • expect more personalized customer service
  • obtain account transaction history

Results that are now ideally suited to the above expectations have been implemented by financial corporations and banks providing financial services.

From this article, you'll learn:

  • What technological trends will dominate banking?
  • What are the available implementations of voice assistants?
  • What steps should financial institutions take to implement the VUI?

According to the Business Insider report, implementation and adoption of voice payments is expected to increase from 8% to 31% among customers in the US by 2022. Three factors will drive this growth: more devices with voice support, development of artificial intelligence and a new offer for banks' clients.


Sample questions of bank clients:

  • What documents are needed to set up an account?
  • How can I activate my first card?
  • What transactions can I make with a credit card?
  • What documents are required to submit a loan application?

The above questions are just selected topics that most often appear in the FAQ tabs. Voice assistants can easily dispel clients' doubts and at the same time reduce the costs associated with Customer Service. Below are some examples that respond to the above customers' doubts by providing personalized voice experience.

1.Checking account status

Westpac is the first Australian bank to belong to one of the four major banking institutions in Australia and one of the largest banks in New Zealand.

With the beginning of 2018, Westpac enriched its communication with customers through a voice application available on Amazon Alex devices. Thanks to this, users of smart speakers can get access to the account balance, the history of recent expenses and the status of bonus points. George Frazis, Chief Executive, Consumer Bank said:

"We know our customers want a seamless banking experience that fits with their needs and complements their lifestyles. As more people adopt innovative voice-activated technologies in an increasingly mobile world, we are excited to be one of the leaders in this space providing secure, easy to use, cutting edge banking services for our customers."

All you have to do is set up a Westpac Banking account, and clients calling the "Alexa, ask Westpac ..." command can check:

  • history of the last 50 transactions
  • account balance
  • the status of bonus points
  • ask "Alexa, what's the news?" and get access to Bank news


2.Ordering payments for bills

Capital One is an American holding company specializing in credit cards, car loans, bank and savings accounts. Belongs to one of the 500 companies on the Fortune list. The bank's clients by combining the bank account and Amazon Alexa account can among others, track expenses and manage accounts in Capital One.

The most popular banking services have gained their voice extension. Just say the sentence - "Alexa, open Capital One" to get access to:

  • credit card account or car loan account status
  • paying bills
  • savings account status
  • the history of the transaction
  • news of the bank


3.Checking documents required for loans

The National Bank of Australia is not left behind when it comes to voice solutions. Like Westpac in 2018, it introduces a voice application available on Amazon devices. Apart from checking the account or transaction history, the bank's clients can learn about formal loan requirements.

As with the previous examples, just connect two accounts: NBA bank and Amazon to be able to use the voice functions fully.


4.Expecting more personalized service

Ally Bank launches voice-command banking capabilities with Ally Skill for Amazon Alexa. Consumers can manage their everyday banking needs and use a unique feature that translates the Cost of a Purchase into Equivalent Number of Working Hours. To use the capability, customers simply tell Alexa the price of any item, their annual income and the average hours worked each week. For instance:

User: "Alexa, open Ally and tell me how much a $1,000 bike will cost in CurrenSee?"
Alexa: "Okay. How much do you make in a year?"
User: "$75,000."
Alexa: "Thanks. How many hours do you work in a week?"
User: "40 hours."
Alexa: "Okay a $1,000 bike will cost you 27.73 hours of work."

“In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, our customers are looking for easier, individualized ways to manage their banking needs, which is why we are so excited to be working with Amazon to launch the Ally skill,” said Diane Morais, president of consumer and commercial banking products at Ally Bank

5.Obtaining account transaction history

U.S. Bank customers are among the first in the nation to be able to complete banking tasks, such as checking an account balance or making a payment to a U.S. Bank credit card, simply by speaking a command to an Amazon Alexa device.

Gareth Gaston, head of omnichannel for U.S. Bank, said: "The uses for voice banking are in the beginning stages, and they will broaden and integrate with the bank’s other digital efforts in years to come."

The potential for voice in the Banking

Voice offers a new way to simplify complex issues for bank customers. In addition, it can eliminate the need to use the mobile version of the application, thanks to the ability to ask questions in a more conversational manner. Voice interfaces implemented (not only) for retail banking increase technological availability for older people or people with disabilities.

What are the next steps for financial institutions that want to implement Voice?

First of all, banks should start building and testing voice interfaces. It is necessary to quickly create prototypes based on research. The next step is designing Customer Journey focused on conversational interaction.

Looking at the retail banking market in Europe and integrating with Voice we have quite extreme cases. In July 2018, Nordnet in Sweden completed an agreement with IPSoft for an assisted artificial intelligence support, citing lack of progress. However, in the same market, SEB was able to increase customer engagement with the same technology.

In summary, the answer remains simple: Banks should look for partners (experts) who can use experience from many industries to help them provide an experience that will differ from the competition.

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