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Desert Financial becomes first Arizona credit union to unveil voice banking for members

Amazon Alexa skill available to members today; Google Assistant for Desert Financial also nearing rollout, and will be only the third financial institution in the world to have access

PHOENIX, AZ (June 17, 2019) — Today, every Desert Financial Credit Union member with an Alexa app or device now has access to the latest technology in consumer financial services – secure voice banking through Amazon’s Alexa platform. With the announcement, the credit union becomes the first in Arizona to enable the technology for its members.

By downloading the app, linking the account, and then using the prompt, “Alexa, open Desert Financial,” users can securely check their account balance, transfer money, request rates, hear account history, get financial tips and ask questions.

This isn’t Desert Financial’s only voice banking news today. The credit union also announced an impending rollout of voice banking with Google Assistant, a partnership that has only been executed in two other global financial institutions. This will likely make Desert Financial the first credit union in the country to offer voice banking with the technology.

Desert Financial Credit Union, which turned 80 years old last month, is Arizona’s oldest and largest credit union, and believes strongly in the power of innovation through technology. And with the total voice searching user base among US adults sitting at 42.7%, according to Voicebot, it is clear that voice search is a growing market.

“Desert Financial is committed to bringing our members the latest in secure banking innovations, including online account opening, mobile banking, and now, voice banking,” says Jeff Meshey, President & CEO of Desert Financial. “We’ve long been a pioneer in Valley banking, and with today’s announcements, that legacy continues. We look forward to hearing from our members how this new skill is assisting them in their banking needs.”

Desert Financial implemented the technology through its SwitchThink subsidiary, working with Tampa-based Best Innovation Group (BIG) to create the secure voice banking system. BIG is a consulting partner ensuring that credit union accounts have a firewall between the financial institution and the technology, in this case, Alexa.

Members who would like to use the Alexa skill can follow three steps to get started:

  1. FIND THE SKILL: Open the Amazon Alexa app on the voice-enabled device. In the main menu, select SKILLS. Search “Desert Financial” and choose ENABLE.
  2. LINK UP: Enter your Online banking information when prompted, then create a voice passcode for Desert Financial’s Alexa skill. Use a unique code that you don’t use for anything else to help keep your information secure.
  3. USE YOUR VOICE: Say “Alexa, open Desert Financial” to get started. Say your new voice password when Alexa asks for it within the skill to access voice banking.

“This takes Desert Financial banking to a new level of simplicity,” said Wayne Oleksak, VP of Experience and Innovation with SwitchThink. “Now you can check your balance just by asking, while eating breakfast, cooking dinner, or on-the-go. Truly, any time you’re using Alexa. Ultimately, we believe this will continually improve the way members save and borrow with Desert Financial on their mobile device, in-branch, and over the phone.”

Some of the voice banking prompts members may access include:

–       “Alexa, ask Desert Financial how much I have in my savings account.”

–       “Alexa, open Desert Financial to transfer $100 from my checking to my savings.”

–       “Alexa, ask Desert Financial for current rates for a Money Market account.”

–       “Alexa, ask Desert Financial for advice on saving money.”

–       “Alexa, ask Desert Financial for their routing number.”

For more information, including questions about using the Alexa skill, visit desertfinancial.com or facebook.com/desertfinancial.


About Desert Financial Credit Union

Celebrating 81 years in Arizona, Desert Financial is the state’s largest credit union with $5 billion in assets, more than 330,000 members and 48 locations across the Valley. As a not-for-profit cooperative, Desert Financial takes pride in sharing success. In 2019, Desert Financial gave nearly $11M to Valley nonprofits, the community and members. Learn more at desertfinancial.com.

Contacts

Diane Meehl
(480) 651-4654 | Diane.Meehl@desertfinancial.com

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