One of the coolest new technologies to hit the marketplace is voice recognition software. The popularity of voice-activated digital assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa, have hit a new high as consumers are buying into the convenience of this new technology. Interactive speakers in conjunction with Bluetooth technology allow these devices to perform certain tasks, or “skills,” with the issue of a simple voice command. These digital assistants are becoming more mainstream as consumers have begun incorporating them into their daily household routines, enjoying the ability to do everything from ordering groceries, playing music and dimming the lights, all from a voice command. We are left to wonder what other ‘magic’ will these devices soon be able to perform? Is it reasonable to expect to see these capabilities extend into the financial services arena with voice recognition for credit unions? The answer is yes, and its already happening, as a handful of credit unions have recently begun to explore these capabilities.
Development in the area of the voice-commanded technology is still emerging, and Amazon predicts rapid growth of its own Alexa products to continue through 2025, selling more than 70 million smart speakers alone. In keeping up with this popularity, new skills are continually being added to Alexa’s repertoire, with 15,000 skills being available as of July 2017. However, of those 15,000, only a handful are financial services in nature, proving that while managing your accounts using voice recognition software has its potential benefits and conveniences, the popularity of it has still yet to catch on. Even the most savvy and early adopters of technology pause at yelling out their PIN number across the room. With the risk of compromising vital financial information or opening themselves up to fraud or identity theft, it will most likely be a while before many fully embrace this technology. However as tech advancements continue and voice recognition software is perfected, the potential for credit unions to venture down this path is undoubtedly there.
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