Canada: Central 1 Develops Voice Banking Service

Central 1 Credit Union is the first in Canada to launch authenticated voice banking services using Amazon Alexa. Central 1 clients Innovation Credit Union and Conexus Credit Union will be piloting the service with a selected test audience, with plans for a full release in the autumn.

Customers will be able to conduct a variety of banking tasks including making payments, sending money to vendors and transferring money between accounts using just their voice.

The technology is revolutionary and will increase the ease and convenience of completing banking tasks, particularly for consumers who have visual impairments or are unable to leave their home, or for those who rely on their smartphone for their banking.

According to Dean Gagne, Chief Digital and Technology Officer of Innovation Credit Union, “Conversational UI is going to play a significant role in future member interactions, particularly with Millennials and Gen X”.

According to RFi Group data, just over 2 in 5 Canadian retail banking customers currently own a ‘smart device’, with 10% owning a home assistance device.

Meanwhile, 42% of consumers aged between 18-34, and 34% aged between 35-54 are comfortable with making payments via voice commands. Therefore, the move appears to be well timed, with a considerable level of appeal for this type of service, especially among younger consumers.

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