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Absa Regional Operations selects KAI to deliver groundbreaking digital experiences to its customers across Africa

Absa’s virtual assistant helps customers in its African markets with their day-to-day banking needs and plans are afoot to offer transactions over chat.

New York, Johannesburg, 18 Mar 2020
Read time 4min 00sec

Kasisto, creators of KAI, the leading digital experience platform for the financial services industry and Blue Turtle Technologies (Blue Turtle), South Africa’s leading 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 and 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 fulfilment over chat. For added accessibility and ease of use, Absa’s virtual assistant will be available over the company’s Web site 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 with 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 its 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, adds: “Our passion for innovation and customer success, and our partnership with Kasisto, has made us a great partner for ARO as it brings 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 behaviour. 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 experiences to its 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 wellbeing-related insights.

Reduce call centre operating costs while empowering customer 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. 

“Among 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.”


Kasisto

KAI is the leading digital experience platform for the financial services industry. Kasisto’s customers include DBS Bank, J.P. Morgan, Emirates NBD, Standard Chartered, TD Bank, and Manulife Bank among others. They chose KAI for its proven track record to drive business results while improving customer experiences. The platform is engaging with millions of consumers around the world, all the time, across multiple channels, in different languages, and is optimized for performance, scalability, security, and compliance. KAI is built with the deepest Conversational AI portfolio in the industry. Kasisto is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Silicon Valley and Singapore. Kasisto Singapore Pte Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kasisto. For more information visit kasisto.com. 

Blue Turtle Technologies

Blue Turtle Technologies is a leading South African enterprise technology solution integrator, powering some of the continent’s largest firms by providing best-of-breed technology solutions that allow customers to greatly improve the adoption of agile development, provide security for data, databases and applications, and enable delivery of digital services. We work with innovative technology vendors, tailoring solutions to drive business value, delivered by a multi-disciplined team working in partnership with our customers.

Absa Group Limited

Absa Group Limited (‘Absa Group’) is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups.

Absa Group offers an integrated set of products and services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management and insurance.

Absa Group has a presence in 12 countries in Africa, with approximately 40,000 employees.

The Group’s registered head office is in Johannesburg, South Africa, and it owns majority stakes in banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania (Absa Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia. The Group also has representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria, as well as insurance operations in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, and an international representative office in London and soon in New York.

For further information about Absa Group Limited, please visit www.absa.africa

Editorial contacts
Blue Turtle Technologies Samantha Griffiths (+27) 11 206 5600 samanthag@blueturtle.co.za
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