TD Ameritrade Gets A New Amazon Alexa Skill: Voice-Activated Stock Trades

TD Ameritrade (AMTD) will now let you buy and sell stocks via Amazon‘s (AMZN) Alexa. Clients of the online discount broker already use Amazon’s virtual assistant to get stock quotes and market data.




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TD Ameritrade customers can now use Alexa-enabled devices to place trades after the online broker “revitalized its Amazon Alexa skill” to offer voice-activated investing features.

Customers can also now ask questions about the stock market, get customized market briefings and access their accounts using Alexa, TD Ameritrade said in a news release Wednesday. It called the service an industry first.

U.S. companies continue to deploy technology to make investing more broadly accessible to people. Banking giant JPMorgan Chase (JPM) now offers a free mobile investing service that rivals the Robinhood app. Oculus Go, the new platform from Facebook (FB), now helps investors learn through virtual reality.

TD Ameritrade stock closed down 3.9% at49.25 on the stock market today as financials are among the notable losers in the stock market correction. Interactive Brokers (IBKR) gave up 2.7%, Charles Schwab (SCHW) tumbled 4.45% and E-Trade (ETFC) shed 3.9%.

Investing Meets Technology

For financial services companies, combining investing with technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and voice-user interface throws up opportunities and challenges. They must balance the need for technological innovation with concerns about risk of glitches and security breaches.

A glitch on the Robinhood stock trading app made users think they had lost thousands of dollars, reports in 2016 said.

TD Ameritrade customers wouldn’t want their kids asking Alexa to “buy Domino’s Pizza (DPZ)” and get a slice of the company.

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Clients must download the Alexa app and enable the “TD Ameritrade skill” to set up a voice code for trading, the brokerage said.

“Visualization is a powerful tool because it makes abstract things seem more real,” said Sunayna Tuteja, head of emerging technologies at TD Ameritrade. “We’re on a journey to break down more barriers to entry when it comes to investing in the markets, and this is one more way we can do that.”

Amazon earnings for the third quarter are due Thursday night.

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