Westpac and NAB connect with Amazon Alexa

Katrina Barker
January 18, 2018

These are just some examples of Alexa integration, there are literally hundreds more - while Google Home got the jump on this space past year in Australia it's very clear Amazon is coming in at full speed.

While the rollout might be good for Australians and New Zealanders who want Echoes for themselves, it'll be harder for Amazon to wean them off other music streaming services, like Spotify, which has been available in Australia since 2012.

Amazon launched in Australia last month after much anticipation.

Rather, it's connected to Amazon's store system, but also to its own brand of artificial intelligence, and can link to a whole bunch of apps and services, including the Philips Hue lightbulbs, Samsung's smart devices, Lifx bulbs, Belkin Wemo, D-Link smart technology, Kwikset smart door locks, Netgear's Arlo security systems, Ring's video doorbell and cameras, the Sonos One smart speaker, and even a few vacuum cleaners and home appliances. The key phrase is then "Alexa, ask Airtasker to find me a cleaner".

Some skills already available include loyalty program updates from Qantas and account balance updates from Westpac and NAB.

Aussies can ask Alexa to check the weather, the traffic and sports scores, as well as to play music, or set music alarms and timers.

"It's still early days for having conversations with your technology, but we're continuing to discover new ways to adapt and integrate that into our daily lives", said REA Group chief inventor Nigel Dalton.

News Corp's taste.com.au publication launched a skill allowing consumers to hear the recipe of the day or search 50,000 recipes by type, ingredient, theme or event, sorted by top ratings.

NAB executive general manager digital & innovation Jonathan Davey says: "We'll continue to analyse customer use and test new experiences with customers to determine how we continue to provide new features and functionality". The smart speakers go on sale in early February, and will be up for purchase at JB Hi-FI, Officeworks, Telstra and Myer. "The EnergyAustralia skill for Alexa gives people easy access to every aspect of their energy account".

The telco worked with DiUS to build a skill for the platform. Initially, customers can stay across the status of their bill and when it's due with a simple voice comment.

"Technologies likes this help us to deliver greater convenience and a richer experience for our customers", amaysim CEO, Julian Ogrin, said.

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