Briella TomassettiJun 13, 2018, 10:39 pmJun 14, 2018, 1:16 pm

Voice-activated banking comes to NEFCU via Amazon Echo, Google Home

People will soon be able to manage their accounts without lifting a finger

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WESTBURY — Banking is about to get a whole lot easier for Long Islanders that bank with NEFCU.

More and more banks are beginning to offer their customers voice-recognition, including U.S. Bank, Barclays, and HSBC. NEFCU, a local credit union, brings that option to Long Island.

The innovative technology allows members to manage their accounts with their voice. In addition to checking account balances, customers can look up rates for loans and past transactions. The Amazon Alexa or Google Home can text customers the address of the nearest ATM or call a bank representative upon request.

Chief information officer at NEFCU Westbury headquarters, Jojo Seva, says the system uses the exact same security protocols as its online and mobile banking counterparts, including multi-factor authentication. He also says the system has been tested since it was developed in the past year, but the convenient feature raises red flags, especially when it comes to personal privacy. An Amazon Alexa user from Oregon reported last month that the voice recognition device recorded a private conversation between her and her husband and then sent to a random number in their address book.

Despite mixed opinions about the new technology, NEFCU will launch its new voice-recognition software this Friday.

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