NEW YORK & LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today at Money 20/20, Mastercard announced its plans to launch artificial intelligence (AI) bots that allow consumers to transact, manage finances, and shop via messaging platforms.
According to research firm Gartner, nearly $2 billion in online sales will be performed exclusively through mobile digital assistants by the end of 2016.1 Mastercard is developing bots for both its merchant and bank partners, which will use chat, messaging and natural language interfaces to communicate with consumers. With the Mastercard bots, partners can have a true dialogue with consumers and provide personalized service, seamless user experience and contextual offers and rewards.
Mastercard Bot for Banks
Mastercard KAI, the Mastercard bot for banks, will seamlessly extend Mastercard services to customers on messaging platforms and make financial information and decisions part of consumers’ everyday lives. In this testing phase on Messenger, Mastercard is partnering with Kasisto, the company that created KAI Banking, the conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform, to power branded virtual assistants and smart bots for financial services and is a current participant in the Mastercard Start Path Global program.
Mastercard KAI is powered by KAI Banking’s deep knowledge in financial services and conversational AI. It can fulfill customer requests and solve problems, enabling financial institutions to create entirely new consumer experiences – ones that are as easy and natural as texting a friend. Starting early next year, consumers based in the United States can ask the bot questions about their accounts, review purchase history, monitor spending levels, learn about Mastercard cardholder benefits, receive contextual offers through integration with Mastercard Priceless experiences, and get help with financial literacy.
“We’re excited to partner with Mastercard to help drive conversational commerce and engage with consumers where they spend their digital lives – on messaging platforms,” said Zor Gorelov, CEO and co-founder, Kasisto. “This bot enables entirely new experiences, bringing Mastercard benefits and offers to consumers with human-like conversations that are personal and contextual. We’re powering conversational commerce, anytime, anywhere – just as consumers have come to expect.”
Currently in pilot testing on Messenger, Mastercard KAI will eventually roll out to the 1 billion people who use Messenger every month.
Mastercard Bot for Merchants
With the Mastercard bot for merchants, consumers will be able to shop and transact on messaging platforms and then check out with the Masterpass global digital payment service. Developed by Mastercard Labs, the bot enables consumers to start a simple conversation with a merchant and complete a transaction without opening their wallets, visiting the merchant’s app or waiting in line. The bot works across multiple verticals – from airlines to retail – and runs on various messaging platforms, making commerce more frictionless than ever before.
To accelerate development of conversational commerce among merchant partners, Mastercard plans to open up its experimental Bot Commerce API on Mastercard Developers platform later this year. Merchants can use this API in a sandbox to begin testing chatbots powered by Masterpass.
“At Mastercard, we believe that AI-driven conversations between companies and their customers can drive better customer experiences in places and platforms that consumers are already engaging in.,” said Kiki Del Valle, senior vice president, Commerce for Every Device, Mastercard. “Mastercard Labs has been testing integration of key Mastercard products and services within different messaging platforms and we’re thrilled to test Mastercard KAI on Messenger first. We will keep moving this test-and-learn approach to the next phase by developing chatbots that are naturally ingrained into a consumer’s daily life and helps our partners stimulate business interactions that are more conversational.”
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
Kasisto was founded in 2013 with the vision of enabling companies to engage and transact with their customers through intelligent conversations, anytime, anywhere. Kasisto’s conversational AI platform, KAI, offers enterprises a comprehensive AI technology stack combined with industry-specific domain expertise to make bots and virtual assistants well versed in the businesses they serve. As an SRI International spin-off, Kasisto leverages decades of research and development in artificial intelligence. KAI Banking enables financial institutions to add virtual assistants and smart bots to their mobile apps and leading messaging platforms. With an emphasis on great user experience, KAI-powered virtual assistants and smart bots are easy to implement, customize and maintain. For more information visit www.kasisto.com and follow @kasistoinc on Twitter.
1 Gartner report "Predicts 2015: Digital Marketers Will Monetize Disruptive Forces" by Jennifer S. Beck, Mike McGuire, Adam Sarner, Andrew Frank, Jennifer Polk and Jake Sorofman.