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Consumers already open to voice banking – will treasurers follow?

Corporate banking often follows consumer trends and a recent study shows that the majority of consumers are open to the idea of voice banking using smart speakers. The study – Smart Speaker Banking Must Overcome Digital Inertia – by Javelin Strategy & Research found that more than half of the consumers surveyed would use Amazon’s digital voice assistant, Alexa, to make routine banking requests, including checking account balances (47 per cent) and reviewing recent transactions (43 per cent). Consumers were also likely to use a smart assistant to make bill payments (39 per cent) and for money transfers between own accounts (35 per cent) – although fewer (27 per cent) would use voice banking to transfer money to another person.

Javelin's Emmett Higdon said: “The challenge for banks is in differentiating the voice value proposition from other digital delivery options. Most consumers would not immediately mention banking as one of the reasons they purchased a connected home speaker. The bar is high for emerging channels such as home voice banking to deliver a compelling experience for day-to-day transactional tasks.”

In terms of corporate cash management, this leaves the question: how long before corporate treasurers will also be giving voice commands and requests to their treasury management systems? As already covered on CTMfile (Be ready for a career change from corporate treasury?) we are entering the age of the financial digital assistant. But some have already started using digital voice assistants such as Emagia's Gia, which can support an array of finance functions including cash balances, procure-to-pay, record-to-report, treasury, and tax and audit. The voice-controlled analytics assistant is already being used by companies as described here: Hey Gia: Give me an update on total cash received so far this week.

CTMfile take: This is a fascinating area. As a corporate treasury professional, do you feel comfortable with the idea that voice-controlled banking assistants could carry out key treasury functions? Have you already tested any voice-controlled analytics service? We'd like to hear your views in the comments below.

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This item appears in the following sections:
Balance & Transaction Data Collection
Treasury Systems Connectivity
Best Practices & Benchmarking
Treasury Careers

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