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The 4 Key Questions to Ask When Thinking About Voice

Its seems that the hot topic in financial circles these days is artificial intelligence (AI), specifically voice-based apps.

Some of this is driven by the fact that Google and Amazon are leading the charge in that direction in shopping, music and entertainment. But the fact is, if this nut can be cracked for banks and credit unions, it could be a game changer for the financial institutions and their customers.

Given the expansion of the technology and the proliferation of talk about banking AI, it’s time to not only take a look at where AI is in relation to banking, but also see where your FI needs to be to take advantage.

Also bear in mind that it isn’t the size of your FI that matters. AI APIs are now available for every budget. But like other tech gear, that doesn’t mean you should go out and buy some. Think of it like some of the other tech available.

Alexa or Google Nest Hub may be exciting tools, but if all you do is ask it to be a timer or tell you the weather, it may not be worth an investment since you're only taking advantage of very small pieces of its larger potential.

The Big Questions to Ask

1. Are you thinking about holistic platforms? If your FI is thinking in a broadly holistic way about the platforms you currently have and implementing an AI layer to that, then that’s a good sign. “If you aren’t looking at the big picture and simply hoping to add the newest hot thing to your arsenal, then you likely won’t get the return on the tech that you were hoping for,” cautions Aaron Junod, Vice-president of Product Development at Geezeo.

Don’t think of voice or AI in general as a la carte items. Make sure your FI seems them as another piece of a broader solution for your customers.


2. Are you ready to build a conversational cross-channel experience? Again, knowing where you want to go with this new technology is important. This is the vision thing. “‘What did I spend at Amazon this week’ and ‘Send money to Samantha’ are very different APIs,” notes Junod. “You have to also make sure your partners can consume and aggregate those APIs.


3. Do you have a pioneering spirit? While voice promises to be a revolutionary addition to the user experience, revolutions tend to get implemented in an evolutionary way. “If you get involved with voice now you’ll need to play the long game,” observed Junod.

Voice and other AI is just getting established in less challenging consumer-facing markets and there are significantly more complexities involved in getting a robust, transformative platform for an FI.


4. Can you afford to wait for the payoff? Being an early adopter has its risks and its advantages. You need to weigh both before committing. “The payoff could be quite a way off,” notes Junod. “But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth getting started. It simply means you need to make sure leadership understands that getting in now provides a gentler learning curve as the tech develops.”

If you can start getting leadership to build out their wish list for voice and begin a dialog with your IT team and bring in potential fintech partners, you’ll be in a much stronger position as voice and other AI applications mature.




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