Mastercard follows in the line of several financial services applying AI for its merchant and bank partners. When shopping or managing their finances, Mastercard’s customers will be able to use chat messaging and natural language interfaces to shop, which hopefully will increase customer satisfaction as it will become more efficient and less time-consuming to perform their tasks.

Through the assistance of Mastercard KAI, the company’s ‘bot’ for banks, the customers will be able to ask the ‘bot’ questions regarding their accounts, reviewing purchase history, monitor their spending as well as receive contextual offers, NFCWorld writes.

“Meanwhile, the Mastercard Bot for Merchants will allow consumer to shop and transact on messaging platforms and then check out with the Masterpass global digital payment service”, NFC reports.

Kiki Del Valle, Mastercard’s SVP told NFC that the company is aiming towards making the commerce “more conversational by combining secure digital payments and artificial intelligence technology”.

“In doing so, we’re helping to make consumer experience more relevant, personal and helpful. What we’re aiming to do with our bot strategy is trying to think differently and designing products differently and innovating faster than ever before,” Del Valle said.

Gartner, a research firm, predicts that by the end of 2016, nearly $2bn in online sales will be conducted exclusively via mobile digital assistants, which could be the reason for MasterCard joining the race.

“Currently in testing on Messenger, Mastercard is working withKasisto, the company behind conversational AI platform KAI Banking, to power Mastercard KAI virtual assistants and smart bots for financial services”, NFC writes.

The predictions state that by early next year, U.S.-based customers will be able to: “ask the ‘bot’ questions about their accounts, review purchase history, monitor their spending levels, learn about MasterCard’s cardholder benefits, receive contextual offers through integration with MasterCard Priceless experiences, and get help with financial literacy”.

In terms of merchants, the MasterCard ‘bot’ will allow consumers to start a simple conversation with merchants ranging from airlines to retailers, operating on various messaging platforms.

Del Valle outlines their reason for applying AI, saying:

“We’re trying to make it easier for consumers to interact — we want to make sure that every one of our accounts are as digital as the people that use them around the world. We’re fully investing in technology and resources to actually make this happen”

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