Google Assistant Trialling with NatWest Bank

Google Assistant Trialling with NatWest Bank

UK bank NatWest is to partner with Google's voice technology. An initial trial group of 500 customers will be able to access basic bank account information through Google Assistant on their phone or smart speakers. 

Security will be verified by the customer confirming two digits out a six digit security code. The innovation will then allow customers to access eight pieces of data, such as their balance and most recent transactions. 

Google Assistant is compatible with Android OS, as well as smart speakers. Ofcom reported earlier this month that around 20% of UK homes now have a smart speaker in their house, and it primarily used for listening to music.

“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,” said Kristen Bennie, head of NatWest’s Open Experience digital innovation centre.

Commenting on the potential to bring digital banking to previously uderserved customers, she continued, “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."

Banking via voice assistant began in the USA last year, with regional bank U.S. Bank being noted as the first to bring compatability with all three major voice systems - Siri, Alexa, and Google.