Traders could be buying and selling stocks with just a voice command in the near future, Sandler O'Neill analysts predicted.
It is "not too far off where 'voice recognition' technology is combined with 'voice identification' to produce the fully 'automated voice trade' (with no interaction with a customer service representative)," wrote Sandler O'Neill analysts Richard Repetto and Collin Cook in a note Wednesday.
Voice recognition technology is being adopted widely right now. Devices such as the Amazon Echo speaker let users play music, listen to a rundown of the top news of the day, and shop, for example, with just a voice command.
Repetto and Cook said they believe taking up a more automated approach to trading — one in which traders can execute transactions with just a voice command — "could become more popular."
As it stands now, Fidelity and Charles Schwab are the only retail brokers that allow traders to make transactions using their voice, but the process is not fully automated. Both companies use a so-called voice print to identify the person trying to execute the transaction. Voice prints work similarly to fingerprints or face prints, two technologies currently used to unlock cell phones.
Here's how it works: After registering their voice print, traders must dial in, enter their account number and talk to a customer services representative. Once those steps are completed, traders are allowed to make trades or withdraw money from their accounts with voice commands.
A more automated approach, which would skip human interaction, could be implemented as voice recognition technology is further adopted, Repetto and Cook said.
"We believe fully automated voice recognition, identification, and trading could open the door to other retail voice activated technological advancements in the banking & brokerage area," they said, adding it could "marginally increase trades, over time."