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TD Ameritrade launches an in-car feature that lets drivers check stocks, get prices while in traffic

Key Points
  • TD Ameritrade is integrating with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Echo Auto to let users check markets while on the road.
  • "In a connected world like ours, we have to meet investors where they are, whether at home, in the office, or on the go," says Vijay Sankaran, chief information officer at TD Ameritrade.
  • Sankaran calls it "a natural next step" to weave investing seamlessly into daily lives.

TD Ameritrade is introducing a new place to check your portfolio: while sitting in traffic.

The financial services company announced in-vehicle features Monday that let drivers check their balances and portfolio performance, or get a stock quote through voice commands from behind the wheel.

"In a connected world like ours, we have to meet investors where they are, whether at home, in the office, or on the go," Vijay Sankaran, chief information officer at TD Ameritrade, said in a press release. "In-vehicle technology offers a new type of connectivity that further breaks down barriers to accessing financial education and markets."

Sankaran called it "a natural next step" to weave investing into people's daily lives. But the Omaha, Nebraska-based financial services company stopped short of saying whether investors would eventually be able to trade stocks through voice commands. For now, those using Apple CarPlay have access to real-time market news through a new TD Ameritrade radio station, while Android Auto and Echo Auto users can access voice commands to check account balances, portfolios and market performance.

Executives pointed to a report by data company Inrix that said drivers lost an average of 97 hours last year due to congestion. It said the cost of sitting in traffic nationwide was close to $87 billion — an average of $1,348 per driver.

"For those who follow the financial markets closely, that loss is compounded by untold missed opportunity," TD Ameritrade said in a press release.

The 44-year-old company launched voice-activated investing on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices last year. TD Ameritrade said customers execute an average 850,000 trades per day on the platform, a quarter of which are placed using mobile devices. The financial services firm in 2017 was the first to offer approved clients access to bitcoin futures contracts.