JPMorgan Brings Amazons Alexa to Wall Street Trading Floors

  • Voice-activated assistant can now send reports from analysts
  • Other firms such as Ny Life using it to help employees

“ Alexa, ask JPMorgan what the price target for Apple is. ”

It’ s a request that JPMorgan Chase & Co. institutional clients is now able to get quickly answered through Amazon. com Inc. ’ s ubiquitous voice-activated assistant. The lender and the e-commerce giant have partnered to provide JPMorgan’ s Wall Street users with another solution to access its research. Alexa can send analysts’ reports and related queries, and the bank is testing other features, like providing prices on bonds or swaps, in accordance with David Hudson, global head of markets execution for the New York-based bank.

Voice assistants are “ clearly becoming something people are habituated to in their lives, ” Hudson said. “ It’ s about taking information that’ s somewhere in the bank, that someone must generally go and look for, or that is time-consuming or requires authentication to obtain, and putting that to you in another channel. ”

As clients’ habits evolve, firms have been finding ways to adapt popular retail technologies for the business world. While JPMorgan is one of the first to push the Alexa virtual assistant to institutional shops, other banks have been using the service in their consumer operations. And Ny Life Insurance Co. is among financial companies building programs that use Alexa as an instrument for employees.

12, 000 Agents

Customers are becoming increasingly willing to use voice assistants to monitor accounts, according to a survey conducted last year by Bain & Co. While 6 percent of U. S. respondents now use the technology, 27 % are open to it, according to the consultant.

Capital One Financial Corp. was the first bank to permit customers to manage credit card and bank accounts through the voice assistant, and the lender has slowly expanded its Alexa service, allowing visitors to ask questions like how much they spent on Amazon last week.

New York Life will start rolling out Alexa features to its 12, 000 agents later this year to greatly help them get quick details on policies and prepare for meetings, said Mark Madgett, who leads the insurer’ s field force of agents. That means the agents can ask Alexa to figure out how much life insurance a person has or the value of those policies, or to catch them up on the most recent products the firm is offering, that he said.

“ This can be a very complicated business, ” Madgett said. “ When I started 32 years ago, I had five products that I could help solve problems with. Today there are thousands of permutations around financial solutions. ”

New ’ Skill’

JPMorgan’ s automated service, known in Amazon verbiage as a “ skill, ” is the latest shared project for the biggest U. S. bank and the world’ s largest online retailer. Amazon already leases cloud-computing power to JPMorgan and has asked the bank to compete in creating new products including a small-business credit card for its customers. The companies may also be collaborating on a health-care venture.

Read more: JPMorgan-Amazon health venture goes beyond squeezing middlemen

JPMorgan’ s Alexa project started this past year as part of an internal competition to foster innovation. The bank first opened up data in its research group and added feeds from other departments, including banking and custody and fund services — capabilities now being tested internally. If the automated service takes off, it should free the firm’ s salespeople from having to answer routine queries.

JPMorgan has seen that clients are open to new means of interacting with technology. Not long after the bank created mobile apps for its trading business, it was recording large trades, including a $400 million currency bet last year. So allowing Alexa users to access JPMorgan data from wherever they choose to work — home, office or on the go — makes sense.

The next step is enabling institutional clients to act on the info they’ re getting. In the not-so-distant future, Wall Street traders could routinely use Alexa to execute trades, according to Hudson. However the bank needs to do more focus on client authentication and other security measures to prevent errant trades before that occurs, he said.

“ In the open-office environment, in the event that you leave an Alexa on your desk plugged into an Amazon account, you will probably find a TV delivered tomorrow as a practical joke, ” Hudson said.