How NAB and Westpac infiltrated Amazon's Alexa launch in Australia

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“Alexa. How much do I have in my savings account?”

For NAB and Westpac customers, this is a question which will get an answer from Amazon’s Alexa, the digital assistant launched in Australia today.

Both banks worked with Amazon for months to ensure they would be an option at Alexa’s launch.

Currently the hands-free function is limited to account balances and details on deposits but enhancements are on the way. Westpac also has a financial markets news product allowing you to ask Alexa for the headlines.

Just select Finance News from Westpac via the Alexa app and then ask, “Alexa, what’s the news?”

George Frazis, Chief Executive, Consumer Bank says customers want a seamless banking experience that fits with their needs and complements their lifestyles.

“As more people adopt innovative voice-activated technologies in an increasingly mobile world, we are excited to be one of the leaders in this space providing secure, easy to use, cutting edge banking services for our customers,” he said.

Jonathan Davey, NAB’s Executive General Manager Digital and Innovation, says the cloud-based voice service from Amazon brought another another dimension to banking.

“It’s our job to make banking simple and easy for customers and we’re continually exploring the latest technologies and trends that will help us provide that ease to customers in the channels they want, at the times convenient for them,” said Davey.

“Being able to provide customers with more personalised banking information is the latest development in hands-free, voice enabled experiences.

“Our skill [the term Amazon uses for Alexa capabilities] for Amazon Alexa devices provides a secure connection between the device and a customer’s internet banking account, allowing them the convenience to manage their money.”

The NAB is monitoring usage to determine new features and functionality.

“In the future, we certainly see this experience turning into one where you can pay bills, make funds transfers or even purchase items at the command of your voice,” said Davey.

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