The history of banking is the history of being close to your clients

In the 1960s, there was great demand for bank branches in Switzerland. In 1990, the first website was built. Mobile banking was introduced in 2005. Over the past 50 years, our daily lives have changed dramatically. And throughout this time, technology has created new possibilities for clients to connect with their bank, and do their banking.

What if your bank was just one question away?

Recently, we have seen huge strides in the accuracy and reliability of machines to recognize and process human voice commands that has helped improve consumer acceptance of voice interfaces. At the same time, ambient computing devices such as Google Home, Amazon Echo and Microsoft's Cortana are introducing voice assistants as a new means for consumers to interact with various businesses. This is an evolution of user interfaces, building on the mobile revolution and paving the way for future innovation. These virtual assistants are the first very simple examples of how we could interact with our devices going forward: hands-free, using our most natural communication means, our voice.

Testing the frontiers of science fiction and Wealth Management

We partnered with Amazon, to explore this new way to interact with UBS. Amazon Echo is a groundbreaking hands-free speaker that connects to their Alexa voice service. Imagine a Sunday morning in your kitchen, or a late evening in your office. Long after your bank has closed and your client advisor has left the office, you can get any query answered immediately via your personal voice assistant using the UBS application installed. Just say 'Alexa', and it springs to life, ready to respond to your questions or commands. But Alexa does more than just answer financial questions. It has thousands of other abilities. It can play music, broadcast the latest news, weather forecasts, report on sports result, and it allows you to manage your smart home devices without lifting a finger.

"Ask UBS could become an innovative way to cut through the jargon clutter and bring financial expertise in a new and appealing way directly into people's lives. Our pilot with Amazon Alexa is an exciting start into the journey towards virtual assistants and improved client interaction."- Dirk Klee, COO UBS Wealth Management