In The News

Central 1 Launches Canada’s First Authenticated Voice Banking Service

Vancouver, BC – August 14, 2018 – Canada’s first-ever authenticated voice banking service using Amazon Alexa, launches from creator Central 1 today. Central 1 clients – Innovation Credit Union and Conexus Credit Union – are piloting the technology that allows customers to use their voice to command actions for their bank accounts, as if Amazon Alexa were a customer service representative. In addition to being cutting-edge, the technology is revolutionary for those who may be either visually impaired, unable to leave their homes or use keyboards or smartphones to conduct their banking.

Customers can make payments, send money to vendors, transfer money between accounts, and better understand their financial wellness with just their voice. Central 1’s smart,  conversational user interface pairs hands-free functionality with human-like dialogue interaction, and leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence to continually improve its own accuracy.

“We’re committed to providing our clients with top of the line, cutting edge technology and services,” said Mark Blucher, President & CEO of Central 1. “As an organization at the forefront of fintech innovation in Canada we’re thrilled to showcase our authenticated voice banking solution that, as we continue provide the technology to more clients, will add ease and accessibility to the banking experience.”

“Innovation Credit Union believes that Conversational UI is going to play a significant role in future member interactions, particularly with Millennials and Gen X,” said Dean Gagne, Chief Digital and Technology Officer, Innovation Credit Union. “This is why Innovation has been such a big supporter of this Central 1 initiative”

“At Conexus we are passionate about providing solutions that make a meaningful difference for our members. Banking is no longer a place you go, but a thing you do and this new authenticated voice banking solution, is just that – access anytime and anywhere your Amazon Alexa goes,” said Jeremy Trask, Chief Digital Officer, Conexus Credit Union. “Partnering with Central 1 means we’re able to ensure our member are getting game-changing technology and services that improve banking experiences while never compromising security.”

Central 1’s Mobile Banking and Payments team followed best practices in design thinking, customer experience and Lean principles when developing the technology. Development was done in conjunction with Point One Digital, a leading design agency from San Francisco, that was instrumental in developing the Conversational User Interface design strategy.

Contributing to the conversational aspect of the skill is the inclusion of ‘Easter eggs.’ These added features make Central 1’s Amazon Alexa banking engaging and will keep it interesting for users, in addition to providing light-hearted opportunities for including financial wellbeing tips.

Watch Alexa in action in this demonstration video.

Central 1 designed the service to be compatible with Alexa because Amazon Web Services provides a high level of security and flexibility, in addition to the fact that Alexa skills are long standing and highly developer-friendly. The service has high level of authentication and security measures built in, including an industry standard technology OAuth and voice biometrics security measures provided by Amazon.

Innovation and Conexus Credit Unions are launching the Amazon Alexa voice banking service with targeted testing audiences, with plans to release the technology to all members in the fall.

For more information about Central 1’s products and services, please visit: www.central1.com.

About Central 1

Central 1 is a preferred partner for financial, digital banking and payment products and services – fueling the success of businesses across Canada. With $19.5 billion in assets, we leverage our scale, strength and expertise to power progress for more than 300 credit unions and other financial institutions, enhancing the financial well-being of more than 3.4 million Canadians. For more information, visit www.central1.com.

Nicole Adams
Director, Member & External Communications
Cell: 604.360.5974
Email: communications@central1.com

About Conexus Credit Union

Conexus is a forward-thinking credit union committed to our members and their financial well-being. ​​​ Every day our members are our number one priority, that’s not just something we say, it’s a promise. A promise that’s delivered by over 900 employees​​. Providing ease, access and value is key to our technological advances and services we bring to market for our members. Located across Saskatchewan, we are Saskatchewan’s largest and Canada’s sixth largest credit union. As a credit union, our profits are returned to our members through our rates, no-fee accounts and more. Visit www.conexus.ca for more information.

Courtney Rink
Manager, Public Relations
Phone: 306.751.8201
Email: publicrelation@conexus.ca

About Innovation Credit Union

With locations throughout Southwest and North Central Saskatchewan, Innovation Credit Union provides a full range of financial services to over 49,000 members including individuals, businesses, and organizations across the province.  Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation guarantees all credit union deposits in Saskatchewan.

Dean Gagne
Chief Digital & Technology Officer
Phone: 306.539.0452
Email: dean.gagne@innovationcu.ca