Symitar division today introduced Financial Innovations Voice Experience (FIVE), an initiative developed by Best Innovation Group (BIG) to enable personal assistant and voice interaction devices, such as Amazon's Echo or Cortana by Microsoft for Windows, to act as new banking touchpoints.
BIG worked through Symitar's services-based programming interface, SymXchange™, to create an integration between these technologies and the Episys® core processing platform that enables consumers to conduct routine online or mobile banking activity via voice commands. Through FIVE, members can engage with their credit union to:
Ask about an account balance or pending payment;
Begin the request for an additional account;
Report a lost card or change of address; and
Make a payment or transfer money, among other things.
Their virtual personal assistant would then perform the task and the associated core changes.
John Best, president and CEO of BIG, said, "I believe that the next level of service isn't about adding new channels, but about how we can enable the channels members are using to be more intuitive. We were very pleased when Symitar understood our vision and helped bring it to life with an interface that greatly expedited our time to market. The organization brought open mindedness, creativity and leadership to a project highly relevant to the future of banking."
Symitar's Episys is flexible and easy to integrate, even with emerging technologies like Echo and Cortana. Its SymXchange component enables credit unions and third parties to more easily access and personalize data and business rules. Using SymXchange, BIG has created an avenue for information to be delivered to the consumer through the virtual personal assistant.
According to Jeff Johnson, CIO of the $2.3 billion-asset Vernon Hills, Ill., Baxter Credit Union, "Voice activated computing is not new, but as fintech giants spin great ideas, Symitar enables us to adopt them. Symitar has demonstrated a continual drive to provide a world-class platform, one that is open and pushes us to innovate at the edge. Having personal assistant devices as another member interaction touchpoint affords our credit union the constant awareness and engagement with our members to further cement and maintain key banking relationships."
Symitar has always touted the flexibility to facilitate third-party product interfaces to its core solutions. SymXchange extends greater control for the credit union to differentiate unique service offerings while also enhancing the general efficiency of Episys and eliminating traditionally costly customization and integration projects.
Ted Bilke, president of Symitar, added, "This is the digital banking environment we've only imagined, having virtual personal assistants go beyond the scope of weather forecasting and reading calendar reminders to actually help manage financial activity. We believe it's our responsibility to create and enable a larger ecosystem of technology offerings in order to continually improve credit unions' financial interactions with their members. The influence of BIG and the resulting FIVE initiative is Symitar's way of proactively addressing market needs with services indicative to consumers' lifestyles."