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Amazon's Alexa Wants To Pick Your Next Credit Card

Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa has a variety of skills. And now, she can pick a new credit card for you.

The skill was developed by personal finance website NerdWallet and is designed to help users find a credit card to meet their specific needs.

After launching the skill, Alexa will ask you a few questions such as, “Do you want rewards, to save money on interest, or build your credit?”

She also asks if your credit score is good (above 690), average, or poor (below 630).

At the end of the Q&A, Alexa will suggest a card or two. In some cases, she can even call the lender for you.

NerdWallet says Alexa’s picks are not random.

“We try to cover all the different aspects that get people to the right product,” said Kevin Yuann, VP of Credit at NerdWallet.

Yuann says the skill is designed to mimic a conversation you might have with friends or family.

Voice-activated assistants like Alexa are a growing presence in U.S. households.

A survey from NPR and Edison Research finds 39 million Americans now own a smart speaker.

But financial Planner Emily R. Wood cautions consumers about solely relying on Alexa for important financial decisions.

“It’s happening in isolation. So Alexa’s not considering your retirement plan, your spending habits,” said Wood, who works for Connecticut Wealth Management.

The Alexa skill is a condensed version of NerdWallet’s online credit card assessment quiz.

When NBC Connecticut Responds asked Alexa to recommend a credit card, Alexa asked three questions and using the answers as a guide, recommended two different credit cards.

They were the same recommendations NerdWallet gave through the the online quiz.

Yuann says NerdWallet editors have evaluated more than 1,200 credit cards and Alexa has access to all of that information.

“We obviously want to cover all the big brands, we want to cover the ones you see commercials for and get flyers for. But then we go and research what else is out there,” Yuann said.

Wood says the Alexa skill might be useful for someone who is looking for a stamp of approval. But she also wonders if Alexa can be truly objective.

“Because we think that financial incentives matter. And this algorithm that has been produced means that somewhere, someone is getting paid," Wood said.

Yuann said NerdWallet does earn a commission if you apply for and are approved for certain cards, but he estimates it’s less than five percent.

When Alexa made her recommendations to Responds, the digital assistant disclosed that the lender is a NerdWallet partner.

Alexa did not ask for any personally identifiable information during the process.

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