TD Ameritrade Utilizes Twitter DMs for Stock Trading
Buying and selling stocks used to be quite a process. First you would need to place an order with a broker who would then have to call in orders to a person actually on the floor of the exchange to make the trade. These days things are much easier, with investors being able to trade from their computers, smartphones, and now via Twitter.
Last week (in what was some fairly bad timing, as it turns out), TD Ameritrade rolled out a new feature that allows customers to buy and sell stocks by direct messaging the company’s Twitter accounts. As TwoCents reports, Twitter users can now send a DM to @tdameritrade or @thinkorswim to retrieve stock updates and quotes. The chatbot is also able to answer basic financial and investing questions. For example DMing the term “401(k)” will return a brief summary of the topic and link users to further information.
While any Twitter user will be able to get these updates, Ameritrade customers have the option to place actual trade orders as well. This includes the ability to buy and sell stocks and ETF. As the company’s director of emerging tech and innovations Sunayna Tuteja explained, this new feature is meant to make trading easier and more accessible. “We’re trying to help you optimize your investing experience. We want to contextualize the information and make it relevant and timely to your life so you know what to do with it,” she said. Tuteja also noted that the information sent via this DM feature is not shared with Twitter and, if users are having any issues with the automated chatbot, a human representative may jump in to assist them.
Although the Twitter DM chatbot from Ameritrade is new, the company does have a some similar chatbot deployed on Facebook Messenger and also offers support for Amazon’s Alexa. In each case these options come at no charge. However the platform’s standard $6.95 per-trade commission will be applied to any trades.
Ultimately features like this may seem like a gimmick but there may be more to them than that. Beyond giving traders an extra way to buy and sell stocks, these chatbots may also allow those looking at investing for the first time an easy way to start gaining knowledge about the process. In that aspect, TD Ameritrade’s new “trade via tweet” option seems like a win-win for customers and FinTech services.