Financial firms are turning smartphones into virtual clerks. USAA in February became the first to let depositors use its mobile application via spoken commands. Now, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, and ING Groep also are among about 50 firms working with Burlington-based Nuance Communications Inc. to use similar technology in mobile apps.
While banks have offered basic services over the phone for years, new programs seek to provide more complex interactions, similar to Apple’s talking digital assistant, Siri, which is powered by Nuance’s voice and artificial-intelligence software. Customers will eventually be able to ask, ‘‘Has my check cleared?’’ or ‘‘Am I on track to save for retirement?’’ using apps, instead of visiting a branch or dialing a call center. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.