The American retail banking arm of Spain’s BBVA banking group has partnered with SRI International, which developed Apple’s Siri voice technology, to launch Lola which according to the TechCrunch website is based on a Madrid-based sales agent of the same name.
The BBVA Compass virtual assistant pilot pops up on a chat box on computer screen, enabling selected retail bank customers in the US to either speak or type instructions or questions, such as how much is in my account or what was my last payment?
The bank started testing Lola on its website this week and says it wants to offer the technology to all its customers as soon as possible. If the voice technology proves to be half as popular as Siri, then it is also possible that licensing deals with other banks may come under consideration.
By Neil Ainger