Symitar Launches Voice Transaction Technology

Jack Henry’s Symitar division has introduced voice-enabled financial transactions via Amazon Alexa, according to a company announcement.

The core processor said it is making the technology possible through its Episys Financial Innovations Voice Experience (FIVE) product. Members of participating credit unions will be able to use their voices and Amazon Alexa to check account balances, move money between accounts, make payments get payoff amounts, cancel cards and other things, it said. Members can also get transaction receipts via text, it added.

"FIVE opens the door for credit unions to be actively involved in their members' on-demand lifestyles,” Symitar president Ted Bilke said. “The convenience of voice-enabled transactions through a digital assistant means members can consult with their credit union in the midst of everyday activities, like planning their to-do lists or placing orders on Amazon. Credit unions gain a competitive advantage by implementing a financial technology that removes steps from simple processes while making their services even more readily accessible."

Alexa is Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant. It’s part of the company’s line of interactive Echo speakers and other devices, and it operates using various “skills” that give the devices a range of capabilities, allowing them to do everything from play music to buy things or even lock the front door — all via voice command. FIVE is secured by a single sign-on, according to Symitar.

Development in this area of the technology world appears to be booming. The number of Alexa skills available for install hit 10,000 in February 2017, according to Amazon. By July 2017 it grew to over 15,000 skills.

One of its latest skills — the Financial Interaction Voice Experience (FIVE) — is a banking skill by Best Innovation Group, a Tampa, Florida-based technology think tank founded by former Wescom Credit Union Chief Technology Officer John Best.

Symitar is one of the latest to adopt the technology and get in on the growing voice-recognition trend.

Last month, Oak Ridge, Tennessee-based Enrichment Federal Credit Union became the first credit union to roll out the FIVE technology

“Our goal is to provide members with seamless banking transactions 24/7 worldwide,” Enrichment President/CEO Craig Peters said at the time. “We are proud to provide our members with a technologically convenient method of accessing their accounts, anytime and anywhere, while still providing a personal touch with a high level of account security.”

Enrichment has $456 million in assets and about 42,000 members.

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