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News > Fintech

NatWest launches voice banking pilot

Theo Osborn | 13:15 Monday 12th August 2019

NatWest has launched a pilot to allow customers to bank using just their voice.

The scheme will enable 500 of the bank’s customers to use the Google Assistant on their Google Home smart speaker or smartphone to check their account balance and recent transactions, with customers given a verbal response.

On smartphones, the information will also appear on screen.

The pilot will let customers ask eight questions to Google Assistant and access more than 15 banking tips.

Users will set up the voice-banking facility with their existing online banking password and PIN, and will be asked to provide a partial voice PIN to confirm their identity when accessing the feature.

Kristen Bennie, head of open experience at NatWest, said: “We are exploring voice banking for the first time and think it could mark the beginning of a major change to how customers manage their finances in the same way mobile banking made a huge impact. 

“This technology will make it easier for people to bank with us and could bring particular benefits to those who have a disability as voice banking eliminates the need for customers to use a screen or keyboard. 

“This is one of a number of services that the bank is aiming to develop this year that uses cutting-edge, innovative technology to better serve our customers.”

Georgina Bulkeley, director of strategy and innovation at NatWest, added: “We’re committed to creating effortless customer experiences — and the adoption of new technologies by our customers provides fantastic opportunities for us to do that. 

“This new voice service is the next step towards making banking even easier, opening up exciting opportunities to create truly effortless and seamless banking experiences.”

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