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Morgan Stanley uses Amazon Alexa to inform customers

US investment bank Morgan Stanley is giving customers important information about the market via Amazon's voice assistant

US investment bank Morgan Stanley is sharing information, including market insights, with customers via the Amazon Alexa voice assistant.

The bank has introduced three Alexa skills that enable customers to use voice commands to access information such as trading insights or ideas and content from the bank. Morgan Stanley plans to expand its range of Alexa skills over the next few years.

The bank used the Alexa Skills Kit to create the services. An Alexa Skills Kit comprises tools, application programming interfaces (APIs), code samples and documentation to enable developers to add skills to the 10,000-plus voice recognition capabilities already available on Alexa.

“This new channel will allow us to easily and quickly share valuable Morgan Stanley insights,” said Mike Wilson, chief investment officer for institutional securities and wealth management at Morgan Stanley. “Incorporating our latest thought leadership into voice assistants is part of how we are adapting to client needs and integrating ourselves into how people increasingly consume information today.”

Amazon began a push for the use of Alexa in the workplace last year, launching its Alexa for Business service at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Re:Invent partner and user conference in Las Vegas.

Amazon’s chief technology officer, Werner Vogels, talked at length about how voice-activated services have revolutionised people’s home lives, and went on to describe how Amazon had turned its attention to replicating this effect by putting Alexa in the workplace.

At the event, Vogels said: “We’ve been thinking if voice is the natural way to interact in your home and home automation, why don’t we build something you can use at work as well?”  

Earlier this year, Lancashire Police launched an Alexa skill to give citizens hourly news updates on what is happening in their local area. The app also sends pictures of wanted criminals and missing people straight to users’ smart devices. It was created by PC Rob Flanagan, Lancashire Constabulary’s innovation manager, together with developers from Amazon.

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