At the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas on October 27, Amazon announced that it will be partnering with the payment network Paymentus to make keeping track of bills more easily with a new Alexa feature. While you won’t be able to pay your bills with Alexa (that feature may be coming soon), you can use the new skill to ask about the status of your bills.
According to the Paymentus website, customers will be able to ask Alexa questions about their bills like:
- “Alexa, compare this month’s water bill to May of last year.”
- “Alexa, when’s my electric bill due?”
- “Alexa, did my bill payment post?”
“The Paymentus Instant Payment Network enables any business that directly bills clients, such as utilities, insurance healthcare, consumer finance, telecom, government or non-profit organizations to instantly establish a new, powerful customer engagement channel with voice-enabled bill management,” said Paymentus representatives in a press release. “The new Alexa and Amazon Pay integration will be available to all utilities on the Instant Payment Network, which includes many of the top billers in North America.”
This may seem like a potential security nightmare for users, especially since a recent report found vulnerabilities in home hubs that allow hackers to gain access to passwords and other private information. There may be no reason to fear though, since you won’t need to say your account passwords out loud. With this new Alexa bill enquiry feature, customers will need to link their Amazon accounts with their utility accounts, as with most other Alexa skills.
Dushyant Sharma, Chairman and CEO of Paymentus, said in the press release, “Based on customer feedback and the rapid adoption of cloud-based voice services to help manage our everyday lives, technologies like Alexa will have a profound impact on how businesses and consumers interact, Paymentus is very excited to enable this new feature.”
The new Alexa feature will only be available in the United States and it looks like it will only work with utility bills such as water, gas, and electric. Currently, Paymentus works with 1,500 billers, including many of the largest billers in North America. There is no word on when this new feature will be available as of yet.
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