When I’m discussing the topic of voice technology and #VoiceFirst with someone who’s just learning about this new paradigm, I try to really hammer home the message that while voice assistants are essentially in their infant stage, they’re progressing rapidly as each development accrues and snowballs. On Sunday, at the fintech and financial services trade show, Money2020, Amazon VP of Amazon Pay, Patrick Gauthier, demonstrated this Alexa “snowball” effect quite efficiently, with the introduction of Alexa Bill Pay.
🚨Amazon will launch #Alexa updates about your #bills but @amazonpay will also let you pay your bills directly thanks to a voice 🗣command!@PRGauthier at #Money2020USA #Money2020 #Fintech pic.twitter.com/axf1l3hbjn
— Arnaud Auger Sengupta @ #Money2020 (@ArnaudAuger) October 28, 2019
As you can see in the video, Patrick describes Alexa’s new ability to serve as the user’s bill notifier and payer. The critical piece to point out here is that this is all made possible through Amazon Pay and Amazon facilitating all the account linking that’s required in order for Alexa to be connected to the user’s bills. It’s a powerful illustration of Amazon’s many pieces and offerings that the company has developed over the years, all come together.
On Amazon Pay’s website, the service is described as follows:
These customers can connect their gas, water, and electricity account to any Alexa enabled device, so they can receive an alert when it looks like their payment will be late – because payment hasn’t yet been received – or, it has problems clearing – for example, due to problems with the credit or debit card used.
We’ve made it easy to activate this feature by introducing some new ways for customers to link their account to make it easier than ever. One of these new-to-Alexa features is called Biller Account Match, or BAM, for short.
In BAM, customers can give voice permission to allow Amazon to use their stored Amazon information such as their name, billing address and email address to lookup their bill on Paymentus backend. Once Alexa finds the account, the customer will be registered for pertinent bill notifications such as a failed payment or a high bill, and they can ask Alexa about an upcoming due date.
In addition, users will also be able to compare their bills to past periods, as well as pay their bills on the spot with a voice command. Again, the significance of this development is that it adds to Alexa’s overall capability. It helps Alexa to inch along just a little bit further, making the voice assistant that much more compelling. The Alexa snowball continues to roll down the mountain, this time gobbling up the ability to check, compare and pay bills from 700 different billers, adding to the snowball’s total size and momentum.
How does Alexa Bill Pay work?
Using @amazonpay 700 billers get bill notifications and next bill is due date as well as pay. 40 million US households—95% of US zip codes.
This changes everything.
— Brian Roemmele (@BrianRoemmele) October 28, 2019
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