AJ Bell Youinvest takes stock of Amazon Echo

AJ Bell Youinvest takes stock of Amazon Echo

Online investment platform AJ Bell Youinvest is tapping Amazon Echo to provide spoken portfolio valuations and market quotes to customers via the voice-activated device.

Amazon Echo - a wireless speaker that connects to Alexa, Amazon's voice recognition service - was launched in the UK on Wednesday.

AJ Bell Youinvest has developed functionality for its investment platform that enables investors to authenticate with the Echo device via a companion smart phone app and then ask for a portfolio valuation or stock/fund price with Alexa responding with the requested information.

Tim Huckle, director of digital strategy at AJ Bell, comments: "We want to make investing as easy as possible for retail investors. Digital engagement is expanding to the 'Internet of Things' and Amazon Echo is an example of a number of voice activated personal assistants that we are looking to support as part of our ongoing mission to make our customers' interaction with us and their investment portfolios easy and part of their everyday life."

AJ Bell is not the only financial services firm integrating with Echo. Mizuho Financial Services Group and Capital One have already developed applications for the service.

In the UK, Lloyds Bank, has been exploring the capabilities of Alexa and Amazon Echo in relation to its online banking service. The Echo speaker system was selected for the exploration because it is "always connected, ready, and fast", says Lloyds' director of innovation and digital development Marc Lien.

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