Plan participants can now ask Alexa for account details using the Prudential Retirement skill
By Adam Hunter
With Amazon Alexa, you can play your favorite song, get the news and weather, even control your living room lights, all with just the sound of your voice—now, by enabling a new skill, you can manage your financial future as well. Just say, “Alexa, ask Prudential Retirement for my account balance.”
This April, Prudential Retirement launched its first skill—that works with Amazon’s popular digital voice service, Alexa. The skill can be used by those enrolled in Prudential’s defined contribution, defined benefit cash balance and non-qualified retirement plans who have an Alexa-enabled device and a registered account on the Prudential Retirement website.
Account holders can check their balances, rates of return and outstanding loan balances—the top three reasons they log into the Prudential Retirement website, according to a March 2016 Prudential participant survey.
“People today expect faster and easier ways to keep track of their financial progress,” says Scott Gaul, head of sales and strategic relationships for Prudential Retirement. “Now with the help of Alexa, we’re giving our plan participants the information they need, with a simple voice command.”
Already, 51 percent of U.S. consumers use some type of voice assistant, according to Adobe Digital Insights, and Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices dominate the marketplace. By the year 2020, 30 percent of web searches will be via voice technologies, according to Gartner, Inc., a leading technology market research firm.
“We have to be where our customers are,” says Harry Dalessio, head of full service solutions for Prudential Retirement. “Delivering new ways to keep participants engaged around financial wellness is critical to helping them reach their retirement goals.”
Amazon’s Alexa features tens of thousands of skills, but only four from financial services companies—Capital One, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab.
The Prudential Retirement skill for Alexa was developed by an in-house team, including one of the company’s interns, who has since joined the company full-time.
Dalessio says that ensuring the security of plan participants came first when approving a skill for the platform. “Amazon has no access to the stored usernames and passwords used to access the data,” he says. “Participant information continues to be stored on secure servers, monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by Prudential.”
As Amazon extends the reach of Alexa, retirement plan providers like Prudential could look to increase opportunities to connect with their participants.
“Imagine watching a commercial on television about saving for retirement,” Gaul says. “Without moving from the couch, you can ask Alexa to check your account balance. Instead of saying ‘I’ll do it later,’ you say ‘Alexa,’ and do it now.”
To enable the Prudential Retirement skill for Alexa, visit the skills section of your Alexa app or the Alexa skills store.
For more information on Prudential Retirement’s Amazon Alexa skill, or to speak with Harry Dalessio or Scott Gaul, contact Josh Stoffregen.