Capital One, the first to integrate with Amazon Alexa for voice banking

Wednesday 16 March 2016 10:37 CET | News

Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa has upgraded to the role of banking assistant and Capital One has announced the rollout of a new “skill”, which will allow consumers to do their banking by voice.

Via Alexa, which is embedded in devices like the Echo speaker and Fire TV, Capital One consumers will be enabled to do their banking by voice, including checking balances, reviewing transactions, making payments, and more.

To use this voice-activated service, Capital One customers have to first add the skill to their Amazon device via the Alexa mobile application, then connect their account by providing their username and password. Afterward, they’ll be able to manage their finances through their Amazon device, be it the Amazon Echo, newly launched Amazon Tap or Dot, or Fire TV.

For instance, explains Capital One, customers could then ask Alexa questions like: “Alexa, ask Capital One for my Quicksilver Card balance.”, “Alexa, ask Capital One for recent transactions on my checking account”, “Alexa, ask Capital One when is my credit card payment due?” or “Alexa, ask Capital One to pay my credit card bill.”

The way it works is that Alexa will use the user’s pre-linked funds to pay the bill, and will simply pull up the account information and reply to questions for the other items.

The downside is that this is the kind of skill users probably only want to add to their home device, not one in a shared environment or workplace, for privacy and security reasons.

Anyhow, the technology is in its infancy, therefore, slipups exist. For instance, reports that Amazon Alexa went haywire and reset a user’s connected thermostat to 70 degrees because it heard its name on a radio program that was playing near its speaker.

Additionally, there’s the matter of parent company Amazon’s stance on security technologies in general that may need to be taken into account. As Apple fights for user privacy rights with the US Government, it was revealed that Amazon has reversed its decision to remove a security feature in its Fire OS software that protects sensitive information after user complaints.

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Keywords: Capital One, bank, Amazon Alexa, bill payments, online payments, voice payments, voice banking, US
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Countries: World
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Banking & Fintech

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