Absa deploys Africa’s first conversational AI powered virtual banking assistant
Kasisto, creators of KAI, a digital experience platform for the financial services industry and Blue Turtle Technologies, South Africa's enterprise technology partner, have announced that Absa Group Limited's subsidiaries outside of South Africa, collectively known as Absa Regional Operations (ARO), have selected and deployed KAI, Africa's first Conversational AI powered virtual banking assistant.
ARO chose to partner with Kasisto and Blue Turtle based on KAI's proven Conversational AI technology and Blue Turtle's ability to assist Absa to plan, implement and transform their customer digital experience strategy.
Absa's virtual assistant helps customers in its African markets with their day-to-day banking needs and questions. Customers can find out information about Absa's banking services, account information, the nearest ATM, information about new products & services, what types of services require them to come into a branch, how to access mobile wallet and more, all through intuitive and intelligent digital conversations directly via the virtual assistant.
What's more, the virtual assistant becomes more intelligent over time. In the near future, the bank plans to offer transaction inquiries, transfers and full payment fulfillment over chat. For added accessibility and ease-of-use, Absa's virtual assistant will be available over the company's website as well as a fully secure WhatsApp Business account.
"At Absa we believe in helping our customers bring their possibilities to life. So, when we set out on the journey to improve our customers' digital banking experiences we knew we needed a Conversational AI technology that was proven and a partner that was local. The partnership between Kasisto and Blue Turtle provided just that," said Vimal Kumar, ARO Chief Executive for Retail & Business Banking, Digital and Customer Experience. "Together we are providing Absa customers a more personalised, digital banking experience that no other bank in the region can offer".
With close to $100 billion in assets, approximately 40,000 employees and presence in 12 countries across Africa, Absa is a top player on the continent. Many in the market look to Absa for leadership and innovation.
"Everyone at Kasisto is excited to help power Absa's mission with a virtual assistant that is trained on tens of millions of financial questions, and that allows Absa to deliver important self-service and financial wellness capabilities, and industry-leading digital experiences to their customers within Africa – this is an important market for us," says Zor Gorelov, CEO and Co-Founder, Kasisto. "We are also delighted to be working with our partners at Blue Turtle who bring local technical expertise and know-how as we all work together to enable ARO to leverage the power of Conversational AI."
Justin Arnoldi, Head of Digital Transformation at Blue Turtle added, "Our passion for innovation, customer success and our partnership with Kasisto, made us a great partner for ARO as they bring a new digital banking experience, based on a Conversational AI powered and industry leading virtual assistant to their customers. Our strategy is to help banks like Absa integrate meaningful digital solutions that help them to engage, transact, gain insight and more accurately predict customer behavior. We look forward to working with Kasisto and ARO to bring further digital possibilities to life."
In addition to Absa; Manulife, DBS Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, TD, Emirates NBD's Liv., and many other financial institutions use KAI to deliver intelligent virtual assistants and digitally immersive banking experiences to their clients. These experiences have proven to deliver impressive business outcomes by engaging with customers via omni channel capable, intelligent human-like virtual assistants that:
Increase digital engagement, leading to more immersive Conversational AI experiences
Increase brand loyalty and banking value by delivering financial well-being related insights
Reduce call center operating costs while empowering customer to self-serve through AI
"The maturing of Conversational AI technology is coming at a critical time for the financial services industry. Financial institutions are increasingly challenged to meet rising customer expectations while managing costs. Conversational AI is enabling financial institutions to strike a balance between personalisation and cost to serve," said Alenka Grealish, senior analyst at Celent. "Amongst the Conversational AI vendors, Kasisto stands out for its strong understanding of the nuances of banking-related conversations and customer intents which helps financial institutions deliver new and important digital capabilities to their customers".