New Bank Bot Jude Can Control Multiple Accounts [VIDEO]

  • Philip Ryan
  • July 1, 2016
  • 2

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / davinciThat’s right — it’s another bot. This one’s from New Zealand software designer Ben Lynch and is called Jude.

Bots are huge everywhere — Facebook Messenger now hosts more than 11,000 — but lately, meaning, this week, they have made a strong push into financial services.

Jude launched in May and is currently in beta testing and looking for bank partners. There are just four banks that essentially control the market in the island nation. Initial tests have been strongly positive, Lynch told Bank Innovation. 

As seen below, Jude is able to interact with a user’s calendar to send billing updates, and can also view multiple accounts and transfer funds between them. This is an intriguing and powerful capability.

Lynch writes in a blogpost:

I wrote a crude version of what would turn out to be Jude last year when I had a problem …

I hated the fact I was being charged a $10 unarranged overdraft fee when most often I was only a few dollars overdrawn. Especially when I had more than enough to cover any overdraft in a savings account sitting right beside the overdrawn one.

So I wrote a few lines of code, then a couple more, pushed them up to AWS & all of sudden I had a solution …

On the hour every hour, my bot would look at all my accounts across the 3 banks I use. If one of them was overdrawn it would take just enough to cover the overdraft from an account with sufficient funds. No more pesky unarranged overdraft fees for me!

Easy, simple stuff.

Bots like Jude speak to how powerful software can be when it is given access to financial accounts. While banks may be producing bots of their own, software developers could be designing bots with deeper capabilities, and that could grow to be problematic. Compare Jude’s capabilities as shown here with those of KAI, a U.S. virtual assistant/bot. Most fundamentally, KAI can view accounts but does not have transactional capability.

But not ever bank system is as clean and well run as New Zealand’s, which features realtime payments. Moving funds between accounts at U.S. banks remains a more complicated proposition.

Hi. I’m Jude. from Jude on Vimeo.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism. He can be reached at

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