FIs Should Keep An Eye On Alexa, Before It Goes Full ‘Star Trek’

  • Diana Asatryan
  • May 12, 2017
  • 1

Alexa now has about 12,000 skills on its platform (the 10,000 milestone was in March) since opening it up to developers in 2015, according to Ford Harris, senior business development manager at Amazon Alexa.

“When we set out to build Alexa, we were looking to bring this Star Trek experience to customers,” Harris said during the Amex Innovation Showcase event yesterday. “And we are still at Day 1, there is a lot of innovation to come, and we are firm believers that voice tech will be the way consumers interact with brands and services,” including payments and financial services, he added.

(Speaking of Star Trek: the company did, sort of, give its voice assistant a Star Trek-feel, when they added “Computer” as a wake up command for Alexa earlier this year.)

Voice is the “new platform” from consumer interaction, Harris added. Banks and other FIs increasingly recognize the potential impact of voice tech on customer experience: Santander, for example, added a voice-activated P2P payments feature to its app earlier this year. Others, like Capital One, test voice skills through Cortana and Alexa (check out our list of banking skills found on Alexa).

During the innovation showcase yesterday, Amex also joined the “voice” pipeline, launching an Alexa skill of its own. The skill allows consumers to check their balance, get Amex offers, as well as pay bills. The Amex skill, according to the company, is the first financial services skill for Alexa to integrate a benefit like Amex Offers.

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