Companies and consumers are increasing their use of voice-activated virtual assistants. Most companies today have interactive call answering systems that will guide a caller to their desired destination or provide static data. Banks offer services for their customers to call in and get account balance information, stop payment on checks, check for charges and payments made on credit cards, and more.
Phones have Siri and homes have Alexa. Personal virtual assistants do their bidding from a simple informational request like Siri, “how far is the moon”, to more complex requests like Alexa, “Send $50 to my Visa account.”
Obviously, the more complex the request and delivery, the more programming may be required. But, it can be done, today. Turn on the lights, the TV, reminders to pick up the dry cleaning, or solutions to complex problems to help with the kid’s homework. It’s all available.
Did you know you can get the answers to tough New York Times crossword puzzle clues from Siri? Yup, it’s all there for the asking.
Banks believe that this technology can now be used more extensively in the mortgage process. Loan Servicers already offer on-call loan information to their customers about their payment amount, due date and status, along with escrow information, and more. Guess it wouldn’t be too tough to get that info through Siri or Alexa, if not already available.
Now it’s time for these virtual assistants, as they’re called, to help in getting a mortgage loan. Obtain and provide information on the loan process, what’s needed to apply, explain loan terms and help get a consumer prepared. But, they see it going further.
Virtual Assistants can help a consumer to determine the best loan and provide their personal information to a lender to complete an application.
“Imagine the scenario where a personal assistant knows the spending behavior or financial stability of a customer,” says Amory Booher, SVP of Risk Technology at BBVA Compass.
He added, “The virtual assistant could provide the customer with additional insight to guide them toward a better mortgage decision or help them manage their responsibilities during the origination process.”
Alexa, “Tell me how to afford a house”. Not only will they assist, they’ll start telling us how to live our lives.
Talk about the potential for a data breach. It seems that I recall some uprising about someone being able to listen in and monitor what goes in a home via Alexa.
Now, we’re going give these virtual assistants access to all our non-public personal information to make our loan apps.
Hopefully, someone will think to have these assistants have some sort of voice recognition. Otherwise, anyone can ask for and receive all our personal information that gets stored in these machines. Scary thought.
Although such artificial intelligence may help expedite the process, we need to be very careful when implementing this type of technology into a lending arena.
I’m all for technological advances that can help any process be better, but we need caution. Look what’s happened with recent security breaches at major companies storing massive consumer information. It’s not that hard to steal someone’s identity and we keep coming up ways to make it easier.
We put more and more of our personal information out on the internet. Now, we’re going to put it on some device that can store and transmit it anywhere, anytime… just for the asking.
Siri, “Can you get me a good lawyer?”