TD Ameritrade has an innovation group they call the Tiger Team internally that has worked over the last few years to extend the brokerage's reach beyond the desktop computer. This group brings the firm's services to platforms that its clients use, allowing them to pick up market data, quotes, and support on Facebook Messenger, Twitter direct messages, WeChat, and Amazon's Alexa devices. Their latest launch, announced on July 22, 2019, is support for streaming their content via mobile device, available for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Echo Auto.
These new apps don't let you trade while driving, but it's certainly a gearshift in that direction.
Americans spend a lot of time in traffic. For those who follow the financial markets closely, that time on the road can cause missed opportunities. "We started to look at driving since cars are turning more into computers," said Sunayna Tuteja, who just wrapped up her tenure as head of strategic partnerships and emerging technologies at TD Ameritrade. "This is a natural extension of extending access to the markets and your portfolio, as well as to financial information and education, bringing it right to where we are."
Tuteja believes that consumers of financial information need to have access to the markets and to education as part of their lifestyle, rather than as a chore on a long to-do list. Their in-vehicle products were developed based on client feedback. You don't necessarily have to be in your car to listen to this content--you could be running on a treadmill or taking a walk. The ideas that Tuteja's team has developed have, at their core, freedom from your desktop computer.
The apps are called TDAM Radio, and can be found wherever you download the apps for your mobile device.
While the lineup of shows is being broadcast live, 8am-4pm Eastern time, you can stream audio from TD Ameritrade Network directly. Once the eight hours of content has wrapped up for the day, you can add on-demand audio to a playlist within the app. The Apple CarPlay version of the app brings you audio and lets you build your playlist.
The Android Auto and Echo Auto apps have some additional functionality, allowing the ability for clients to ask for a quote or get a report of their account performance, balances and positions. Tuteja says they plan to add this capability to the Apple version once they are able to integrate the Siri shortcuts announced at the most recent developer's conference.
"We're obsessed about tapping into new technologies," says Tuteja, who is moving into a role that focuses on cryptocurrency offerings for TD Ameritrade clients.