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E-commerce Giant Amazon Brings Announcement Feature to all Alexa-compatible Devices

The feature initially rolled out to the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show and Echo Spot devices

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The Amazon warehouse in San Fernando de Henares is seen during a 3-day walkout to demand better wages and working conditions, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. VOA

Expanding its voice-enabled capabilities, Amazon is rolling out the Announcements feature across all of Alexa-compatible devices.

Launched in 2018, the feature lets users send a short voice message to Alexa-enabled devices that are part of the same network with a single voice command.

Amazon says that Announcements is “available for certified Alexa built-in products to implement and new ones that pass the provided self-tests and certification”, The Verge reported on Saturday.

Amazon Alexa. Flickr
Amazon Alexa. Flickr

Users can send out their announcements by saying “Alexa announce that/tell everyone/broadcast” that would be announced via any Alexa-compatible device including Amazon Fire TV Cube, Sonos speakers, Facebook’s Portal and others.

The feature initially rolled out to the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show and Echo Spot devices.

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Earlier in 2017, Google had introduced the same functionality as part of Google Home line of smart speakers that allows users to broadcast one message to all Assistant-enabled devices. (IANS)

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Now Pay Bills on Amazon Pay While Speaking to Alexa

Once approved, Alexa will complete the transaction using Amazon Pay, and send a notification to the customer's registered mobile phone number, confirming the transaction

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Alexa
The integration of Amazon Pay with Alexa will help reduce both time and effort for customers who use Amazon Pay for bill payments and repeat similar transactions every month. Pixabay

In an India-first feature, Amazon on Wednesday announced that users can now pay their utility bills with Amazon Pay just by speaking to its digital assistant Alexa in the country.

The new Alexa feature supports payment of bills across categories such as electricity, water, post-paid mobile, cooking gas, broadband, DTH and more.

Users of Amazon Echo, Fire TV Stick and other devices with Alexa built-in, can just give commands such as “Alexa, pay my mobile bill” or “Alexa, pay my electricity bill” to get started.

“The integration of Amazon Pay with Alexa will help reduce both time and effort for customers who use Amazon Pay for bill payments and repeat similar transactions every month.

“We are excited to share that this is an India-first feature which Alexa customers in India can enjoy before any other international customers,” Puneesh Kumar, Country Manager for Alexa Experiences and Devices, said in a statement.

Alexa
The new Alexa feature supports payment of bills across categories such as electricity, water, post-paid mobile, cooking gas, broadband, DTH and more for Amazon Pay. Pixabay

Alexa will retrieve the amount due for bills from their registered Amazon account and ask for customer confirmation before processing the payment. Customers can enable a voice pin on the Alexa app to make transactions more secure.

Once approved, Alexa will complete the transaction using Amazon Pay, and send a notification to the customer’s registered mobile phone number, confirming the transaction.

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Alexa will also send a link to register their bill details on the Amazon shopping app before proceeding for the payment, said the company. (IANS)