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You can now ask Alexa for your bank balance, and she just might tell you

Online banking has made life easier, but assuming you use proper cybersecurity practices, typing in your email and password every time can be a bit of a pain. The Amazon Echo, however, now makes it easy to check your balance. All you have to do is link your bank — a quick and private process — and then ask Alexa to tell you your balance. The only concern at that point is who might be in earshot.

The process, by the way, doesn’t require sharing personal banking information with Amazon. The downside is that the list of compatible banks is rather limited. While our research did not yield a master list, these are the financial institutions that we know have Alexa skills:

  • JP Morgan
  • Capital One
  • PayPal
  • U.S. Bank
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Amex
  • Ally
  • First Hawaiian Bank

If you aren’t a customer of one of these banks, then you’re sadly out of luck. That said, new Alexa skills are added on a regular basis, so even if your bank isn’t offering this capability yet, don’t give up. If you aren’t sure whether your bank has a compatible Skill, just open up the Skills and Games section in your Alexa app and search for its name. If it doesn’t appear, then it likely means no skill has been added yet.

Depending on the Alexa Skill you use, there are multiple privacy features in place. For example, if you link your PayPal account to your Amazon Echo, you will need to create a PIN to use each time you open the skill. While it’s hands-free, you will still need to remember the PIN and provide it when prompted or Alexa will not be able to tell you your balance.

According to CNET, there are a few main bank commands you can say to Alexa, including:

  • “Alexa, ask (bank) what my checking account balance is.”
  • “Alexa, ask (bank) what I owe on my credit card.”
  • “Alexa, ask (bank) for my most recent transactions.”
  • “Alexa, ask (bank) to make a payment.”

This is similar to the way Alexa interacts with other devices. These security measures are put in place to prevent fraud, and because the Skills do not have direct access to your personal banking information, the risk involved in using this function should be minimal.

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