USAA to add Siri-like virtual assistant to mobile app

USAA to add Siri-like virtual assistant to mobile app

Online army bank USAA is preparing to add a new speech-based virtual assistant developed by Nuance Communications to its mobile app.

Nuance Interactive Natural Assistant (Nina) is a Siri-like virtual tool, offering speech recognition, text-to-speech, voice biometrics and natural language understanding for mobile customer service apps.

Developers can use an open SDK to add the virtual assistant technology to their apps, branding their own persona, including the visual appearance and optional custom Text-to-speech voices.

The first partner on board is USAA, which will pilot Nina within its mobile app this month before introducing it to all members early next year.

Neff Hudson, assistant vice president, emerging channels, USAA, says: "We believe that the virtual assistant has tremendous potential to make it simpler, faster and more satisfying for our members to manage their financial affairs on their mobile devices."

Recently, the US subsidiary of Spanish banking group BBVA teamed up with the company behind Siri to develop an Internet banking virtual assistant called Lola.

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