We all remember playing playing the game Monopoly as kids right? Well I recently stumbled upon a version of the game that uses voice commands to control the game flow and act as the “bank” – a role most of us avoided so we wouldn’t have to deal with all the annoying transactions such as selling properties and buildings, collecting taxes, exchanging currency, and paying out people as they passed “GO”. Admittedly, it’s a novel use for voice commands in a classic game. But what about using voice to manage apps controlling our real money?

Voice to power more than games

Back in June of last year, we wrote a blog post that talked about the power of voice to perform activities in mobile banking apps. The post specifically referenced Bank of America’s Erica virtual voice assistant as a tool to help users accomplish common, often time-consuming banking activities without the need to memorize complex menus or worse, speak to the dreaded online customer service representative.  The net result of this; a simple, pleasant, user experience that builds brand loyalty and customer retention.  

Enter Aiqudo Voice to Action®

Well, that got me thinking. I’ve been an E*Trade banking customer for years and all this time I’ve never really used voice to make payments, transfer money or check balances. 

Nonetheless, I decided to see if I could recreate and hopefully improve upon my previous experience – this time using our very own Q Actions app.  The following video highlights some of my efforts. 

But can I trust this new way of banking?

Yes. You may have noticed in the video that I am not providing credentials to access my account in E*Trade.  That’s because I’m already authenticated. Previous to shooting the video, I had provided credentials, by way of fingerprint biometric, as part of the very first action execution.  Note that Aiqudo did not manage this process; it was handled completely by the mobile app. And because of this, the data used to hold the credential, lives entirely in the app itself and is neither passed to nor processed by Aiqudo systems at all.  This separation of duties maintains privacy of user data and hence increases trust in using the technology.

A personalized experience

Personalization is a word typically used to describe how an app or other system function adjusts to provide an experience tailored specifically to a user.  It’s often used in conjunction with AI and machine learning systems as the end result of acquiring, processing and suggesting courses of action or data upon which to act.  We enable personalization in the previous actions a couple of ways. If you have, say, more than one voice-enabled banking app on your mobile device (similar to what I have), our system can be configured to remember the user’s preferred app action.  For instance, if I were to say the command “check my balances” Aiqudo suggests actions from both E*Trade AND Wells Fargo. If I choose the E*Trade action, the next time I say the command it will remember E*Trade and perform the action right away – no need to ask again.  Likewise, whenever the action requires the user to provide input such as account number or payee, the system can store these away for subsequent use. These are simple examples but add a nice touch to an already-useful integration. 

What if I don’t bank with E*Trade? What can I do with other apps and is it safe?

Aiqudo maintains similar actions for apps like Venmo and Paypal that allow “send money to <username>” type actions. In each of these cases, Aiqudo defers authentication to the app before completing the transaction and also ensures that the data used by the action in the app, e.g., the payee’s phone number or email address never leaves the device or the app. The following video illustrates this.

With the proper integration of our ActionKit SDK into a banking app such as E*Trade,  the end user reaps the benefits of a trusted, highly- useful voice-powered interface that enables complex and often multi-step operations with ease and reduces Time to Action® for many activities within the app.

Mark Maagdenberg

Author Mark Maagdenberg

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