NAB asks Alexa for hands-free banking
Called the NAB skill for Amazon Alexa, people can now keep their hands to themselves and ask questions like: “What’s my savings account balance?”, “How much do I owe on my credit card?”, “Did I get paid this week?” and “Why do journalists get paid so little?”.
Jonathan Davey, NAB executive general manager digital and innovation, says: “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.”
Davey reminds people that the bank launched its Google Assistant app a few months ago, which focused on publicly available information.
He adds: “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.”
The Amazon Alexa voice service is available on devices including Amazon Echo. The NAB skill can be enabled for Alexa by saying “Alexa, enable NAB skill”.
As reported last year, NAB will make 6,000 job cuts over the next three years with its digital banking revamp and long-term strategy to maintain profit.
Andrew Thorburn, NAB’s CEO, says: “I think all big businesses – particularly incumbent businesses – the reshaping of the workforce is going to be significant. And I think it’s important we face into that and we have a clear plan and we talk with our people about it.”
Thorburn says the bank will automate processes and things will move to digital channels, so “we will need less people and as that happens we estimate that there will be 6,000 less people needed in three years’ time”. In terms of specifics, he says 15 to 20% of IT applications are going to be retired; and 50% less products on sale.