TD Ameritrade, the Omaha, Nebraska online brokerage, announced Wednesday (Oct. 24) that it has enhanced its Alexa skill, enabling customers to place trades via voice commands.
In a press release, TD Ameritrade said enabling clients to learn about the markets and place trades on Alexa-enabled devices via voice is a first for the industry. In addition to getting quick answers to market questions and placing trades, customers can also use voice commands to check account balances, get information about the account’s history and get ongoing customized market updates from TD Ameritrade.
“Just as smartphones went from novelty to necessity over the last decade, voice interfaces like Amazon Alexa are quickly becoming more pervasive as people grow more and more comfortable using them,” Sunayna Tuteja, head of strategic partnerships and emerging technologies at TD Ameritrade, said in the press release announcing the upgrade to the Alexa skill. “Combining technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and voice user interface (VUI), we continue to find new ways to make personal finance and investing simpler for people.”
According to TD Ameritrade, technology has been impacting consumer behavior, and consumers are now bringing those expectations to other aspects of their lives, including investing and trading. Pointing to research, the brokerage predicted that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be voice-activated.
"We are continuing to expand our capabilities to ensure that we are meeting investors where they are and through channels they want,” said Vijay Sankaran, chief information officer at TD Ameritrade. “Voice is the future, and allowing our clients to access and transact in their accounts through voice-driven devices is part of the natural progression of options for investors. We’re focused on making investing as transparent and seamless as possible, no matter what channel a client engages us on.” Customers have to visit the Alexa app to enable the TD Ameritrade skill and set up voice codes for trading capabilities.