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Would you be happy to transfer money by just speaking to an app?

A new app has been developed for Amazon's voice assistant Alexa that could enable you check your balance and transfer money by talking aloud

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Like something out of Star Trek the day is approaching where we’ll be able to do our banking just by talking to a computer in our home.

Daon, a US company that develops biometric software for governments and banks, has created a way to send money and carry out personal banking using Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa.

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How it works

You can open the app by saying “Alexa open Daon Bank”  in earshot of an Amazon ‘Echo’ (the tubular microphone and speaker tool for accessing Alexa).

Alexa will respond with “Thank you for using the Daon Bank Alexa skill. How can I help you today?”

You can say either “send money” or “what’s my balance?”

To send money you need to authenticate the transaction. Daon have linked it to a banking app on a phone to confirm the transaction and verify your identity. They’ve integrated the selfie pay technology so you can just take a picture of your face, but you can also you use a fingerprint or a PIN.

You’d also need to have added any payees through your online banking or in a branch.

Daon believe that banks will integrate their technology with their own apps, so you won’t necessarily need to download separate apps.

Future technology

It’s not commercially available yet, but Daon (who worked with Mastercard to develop their ‘selfie pay’ technology) has said it’s under contract with several “major financial institutions who are interested in pursuing it as a new service” and many banks will start experimenting with the tech in the next 18 months.

A few American banks such as Capital One and American Express already offer their customers voice base apps (or ‘skills’ as Amazon calls them) through Amazon Alexa, but the technology is quite new and limited, and importantly yet to reach the UK – it appears the only UK banking ‘skill’ on Alexa is a joke one that tells you you’re a millionaire.

A sign of things to come?

These are interesting times for banking and technology, with the PSD2 regulatory changes that came into effect this year opening up the sector for a lot of innovation.

So, expect to see many other apps and tech companies bringing out interesting new products for personal finance in the next year or so.

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