Russian Tinkoff Bank Adds Budget Watching Skills to Oleg Voice Assistant
Russian financial services firm Tinkoff Bank is adding new features to its Oleg voice assistant to make it more of a budgetary advisor. Oleg can now help users figure out budgets, pay bills, and keep an eye on their spending habits.
Voice of Frugality
Oleg is embedded in the Tinkoff SuperApp and has been able to complete some tasks within the app since it debuted last year. In addition to those functions, users can say “Oleg, let’s save” and place their spending limit goals on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Every time the user gets close to that limit, Oleg will tell them and will give a final report at the end of whatever time period the user sets. The voice assistant, named for company founder Oleg Tinkoff, who resigned from the company board in April, also tells the user when it’s time to make a recurring payment and check their credit card balance. The payment can be completed by voice command as well.
“In future, Oleg will be even more capable: he will update you on major financial news and prices of securities, remind you about important payments, help you maintain your budget — he will tell you how much spare cash you have and what big-ticket purchases you can plan next,” Tinkoff explained in a blog post. “In addition, Oleg will be able to recognize customers’ voice using Tinkoff’s proprietary biometric technology and fulfill their voice commands that require authorization in the mobile app — for example, to make a money transfer while driving a car.”
Though a product of a financial institution, Oleg was designed as a lifestyle voice assistant, according to Tinkoff. Those who subscribe to Tinkoff Mobile can use Oleg to answer calls, even carrying out limited conversations with whoever calls. With the update, the AI can handle other Tinkoff-connected tasks, such as placing insurance claims if someone has Tinkoff Insurance. The AI comes equipped with some broad financial advice should the user want to get some tips about saving and investing too.
There’s a growing number of experiments connecting financial transactions to voice assistants globally. Bank of America has boasted of the millions of people using the Erica voice assistant created by the bank, for instance. Others are building on existing voice assistant platforms, like ICICI, one of the largest private banks in India, did by launching voice apps for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant earlier this year. Capital One, meanwhile, has both an Alexa voice app and a voice assistant in its mobile app. Oleg is aiming for use beyond finances, similar to rival Russian voice assistants Alice by Yandex and Mail.Ru’s Marusya, but the core banking skills may be Oleg’s best chance for winning more market share, especially now when the COVID-19 health crisis may make some people reluctant to go to the bank in person.