Biometrics-secured voice banking with Amazon Alexa now available from two Canadian credit unions

Biometrics-secured voice banking with Amazon Alexa now available from two Canadian credit unions

A pair of Canadian credit unions have launched banking services over Amazon Alexa using voice authentication to general availability, Co-op News reports.

Innovation Credit Union and Conexus Credit Union partnered with Central 1, which provides services to credit unions, to develop the technology, which leverages Amazon’s voice biometrics and the OAuth open standard for token-based authentication. Customers can make bill and vendor payments, transfer money, and check account information through the voice channel, making financial interactions easier for many customers, including those with visual or mobility impairments. The two credit unions serve a combined customer base of about 174,000 members.

Central 1 Product Manager Alexander Chan, who led the development team behind the technology, said it is a positive move towards remedying the public perception that banks are more innovative than credit unions, according to the report.

“This new technology is a game changer in that it improves the banking experience for a specific demographic of user; it simulates talking to a live agent, is secure, flexible and helps people better understand and manage their financial wellness,” Chan says.

“Innovation Credit Union believes that Conversational UI is going to play a significant role in future member interactions, particularly with Millennials and Gen X,” notes Innovation Credit Union Chief Digital and Technology Officer Dean Gagne. “This is why Innovation has been such a big supporter of this Central 1 initiative.”

The companies announced pilots of the technology earlier this year, around the same time that market analyst Tractica predicted the voice and speech technology market will grow from $1.1 billion in 2017 to $6.9 billion by 2025.

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