SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WEX Inc. (NYSE: WEX), an industry-leading global provider of corporate payments solutions, today announced a partnership with AI.io to launch Halo Travel, powered by Priceline Partner Network, an intelligent, voice-activated chat bot for travel. Halo Travel is the first app allowing booking hotels and flight strictly through voice. AI.io, named as one of the Top 10 AI solutions providers in 2018 and one of the Top 50 Best Companies to Watch in 2018, created the voice-activated product.
Halo Travel is device agnostic and can be used by anyone who has internet access, via Google Assistant, which makes it accessible by more than 500 million people. Users can simply say, “Hey Google, Talk to Halo Travel,” and their entire travel transaction can be processed via voice – without having to reach for a laptop. WEX’s virtual payments technology is a key component to conducting the purchase by facilitating the payment from Halo Travel to the Priceline Partner Network.
“Halo Travel is all about customer acquisition through innovation in one of the largest mass market consumer segments in the world. Booking travel will be redefined with our advanced, artificial intelligence powered chat bot. Our partnerships with Priceline Partner Network and Google Assistant mean that hundreds of millions of people will have unfettered voice access to one of the largest travel inventories in the industry. After more than a year of development and testing, it gives me great joy that it will be our AI system that consumers will be engaging with,” said Terence Mills, CEO AI.io Incorporated. “This wouldn’t be possible for us to bring this to market without WEX’s virtual payments technology.”
Halo Travel users can book flights or hotels quickly and efficiently. The intelligent AIs learn travel habits and patterns of users leading to extreme personalized travel assistance. The result is an engaging, and speedy way to book travel on any device at any time – and all you need is a voice.
“WEX is proud to help bring this travel innovation to market, adding convenience to booking travel by providing our best-in-class virtual payments technology,” said Jim Pratt, Senior Vice President, Travel, WEX Corporate Payments. “Exclusively through voice command, WEX will process Priceline transactions for Halo Travel users, ensuring a seamless payment process.”
“We are very enthusiastic about the potential of Halo Travel,” said Randy Schartner, president of Priceline Partner Network. “We tested the platform at this year's CES, which was a resounding success. We are ready to go!"
United States travelers are interested in using voice for travel-related tasks. According to Phocuswright’s The State of Voice In Travel, more than half of travelers are comfortable requesting general information using a voice-powered digital assistant. However, only a fifth to a third of travelers are actively using voice for tasks like searching for or booking travel products. For the first time, Halo Travel’s proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence neural network allows travelers the opportunity to personalize their travel needs using complex voice tasks – placing the entire Priceline travel inventory, including Booking.com, at their fingertips.
About WEX Inc.
Powered by the belief that complex payment systems can be made simple, WEX Inc. (NYSE: WEX) is a leading provider of payment processing and business solutions across a wide spectrum of sectors, including fleet, travel and healthcare. WEX operates in more than 10 countries and in more than 20 currencies through more than 3,500 associates around the world. WEX fleet cards offer 11.5 million vehicles exceptional payment security and control; purchase volume in its travel and corporate solutions grew to $30.3 billion in 2017; and the WEX Health financial technology platform helps 300,000 employers and more than 25 million consumers better manage healthcare expenses. For more information, visit www.wexinc.com.
About AI.io Incorporated
AI.io is creating a very exciting road ahead with a new class of AI - one that is explainable, and that builds trust by providing evidence; AI that can help manage bias, safe interruptability, and provide cognition at scale that allows for extreme personalization and ultimately leads to a better customer experience, better decision making and increased revenue growth. The company is helping businesses leverage AI as a strategic capability to augment, and amplify human, and process intelligence - changing the nature of work and how people live their lives in ways they could only have imagined. Visit https://ai-io.io and https://halo.travel.