'What does inflation mean?': UBS teams up with Amazon's Alexa for finance chat
"Ask UBS" will let customers pose questions such as: "How is the economy of the US doing? What does inflation mean? What should I know about a yield curve?," according to a release from the Swiss investment bank. UBS is hoping the service will help the bank engage with a new generation of wealth management customers.
Alexa is the A.I. "virtual assistant" built by Amazon as a key part of its "smart" speaker system, Echo. The device can play music, read the news, give updates on the weather, and answer complex questions all through voice command.
Dirk Klee, COO UBS Wealth Management, says in an emailed statement: "Ask UBS could become an innovative way to cut through the jargon clutter and bring financial expertise in a new and appealing way directly into people's lives. Our pilot with Amazon Alexa is an exciting start into the journey towards virtual assistants and improved client interaction."
The initiative will be piloted with "a select group" in November, UBS says, but the bank does not give specifics as to how many people will be involved and which countries the trial will take place in.
"Ask UBS" has come out of the Swiss bank's "Wealth Management Innovation Lab," which was set up in 2014 to help UBS identify next-generation products and services for customers.
Alongside "Ask UBS," the bank's wealth management arm also recently announced the launch of SmartWealth, an online "roboadvisor."
The product acts as a digital wealth manager, tracking investment performance and adjusting depending on goals.
The cost is lower than traditional wealth management offerings because much of the service is automated and people can invest through SmartWealth with just £15,000, compared to UBS' usual threshold of £2 million.
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