Mobile app review: Ally Assist


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App name: Ally Assist

Publisher: Ally Financial Inc.

Price: Free

Available on: iPhone

What’s it supposed to do? Ally Assist is a feature within the Ally Mobile Banking App. Ally Assist is a virtual assistant, similar to Apple’s Siri, that responds to user inquiries and adds to the mobile banking experience.

Ease of use (4/5): You have to bank with Ally to be able to use this feature. To use Ally Assist, open the Ally Mobile Banking app and tap the menu button at the top right corner, and then tap Ally Assist. From there, you can either audibly ask your question or type it in. It takes Ally Assist a while to register your question and bring up the answer.

Features (2/5): Some of the things Ally Assist can help you with include:

  • Transfers, bill payments and deposits.
  • Information about accounts and transactions.
  • Saving and spending patterns.

All of these features are available within the app without using Ally Assist.

Effectiveness (3/5): Overall, Ally Assist does a decent job of understanding what you’re asking and giving you your answer or some helpful results. The app is a bit slow, though; it took the app about 10 seconds to answer my questions.

And translation isn’t perfect. I asked the app, “How much interest is my account earning?” and it thought I asked, “How much inches is my account earning?” Needless to say, I didn’t get any helpful answers.

Value (4/5): Sometimes it’s just better to ask a question verbally instead of typing it. Ally Assist is a nice bonus feature that enhances Ally’s already excellent mobile banking app.

Verdict (13/20): When you think about Ally Assist — and technology like it — as an additional feature and not the next big thing in mobile banking, then it’s easy to see it in a positive light. This technology is cool to have, but it needs some work before it becomes a key part of the mobile banking experience.