Thursday, 18 January 2018 11:07

NAB's new amazing banking skill: 'Alexa, ask NAB if I’ve been paid'

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If you're a NAB customer, you can nab yourself the Alexa word and "perform tasks such as requesting their account balance or getting details on their latest deposits".

If you know about Amazon Alexa, then you know that it can be augmented with new "skills" that are really ways to interact with different online services, or with devices in your home.

If you don't know about Alexa, it is found in Amazon's range of intelligent speakers, and itself is the intelligent assistant, powered by and delivered over Amazon's cloud services, to help you automate your home, your life and more, with the official Australian introduction of these devices covered in an article this morning by iTWire colleague David M. Williams, in an article entitled: "Amazon's Alexa and Echo devices coming to Australia."

We're told that the NAB skill for Amazon Alexa will allow customers, who have connected Alexa with their NAB account, to ask their Alexa device questions like: “What’s my savings account balance?”, “How much do I owe on my credit card?” or “Did I get paid this week?”.

NAB executive general manager of Digital & Innovation, Jonathan Davey, said Alexa would bring another dimension to banking for customers through the secure digital connection to their Internet 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 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.

“This is NAB’s first step in providing ‘authorised information’ for customers, after we were the first major Australian bank to launch our Google Assistant app a few months ago, which focused on publicly available information.

“We’ll continue to analyse customer use and test new experiences with customers to determine how we continue to provide 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.”

NAB tells us that the Amazon Alexa voice service is available on devices including Amazon Echo, and that the NAB skill can be enabled for Alexa by simply saying “Alexa, enable NAB skill”.

The NAB skill was developed by NAB Labs, and NAB assures us all that it is "secure and easy to set up on any Alexa-enabled device through the Alexa app", and that "this will step customers through how to link their Alexa device to their NAB accounts via the NAB Mobile Banking app, providing a safe connection".

More information about NAB’s skill for Amazon Alexa is here

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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