What do you do if you need to send someone money fast? Well, you could whip out your wallet, but what if they are far away? Venmo and Google Wallet are solid options, but they often overcomplicate the process of sending someone money quickly.
What it does
Bear Pay allows you to send money using Amazon Alexa with a single command such as "send $10 to Drew." That's it! Our application will drop an email in the recipient's inbox.
How we built it
We implemented the back-end for handling Alexa queries with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Heroku, using the Flask framework to power our web app. We utilized the SparkPost API to automate email deliveries so that people can instantly receive funds. In addition, we used the Capital One Hackathon API to power financial account management and peer-to-peer transactions as well as mLab to host user data on a MongoDB instance in the cloud.
Challenges we ran into
Integrating our AWS Lambda code, which processed speech input from Alexa, with our web application that interacted with MongoDB and Capital One dummy accounts proved to be challenging as we had to carefully construct HTTP requests so that the whole app wouldn't crash. We also ran into a few challenges with the SparkPost API as we had to register a custom domain in order to send automated emails.
What's next for Bear Pay
We'd like to use Azure's Speaker Recognition API to authenticate users solely with their voices. This would allow people to use Bear Pay to send money without entering an account password. We would also like to incorporate different bank accounts and digital wallets such as Bank of America, PayPal, and Venmo, so that our app is accessible to everyone.