Amazon and Facebook power Mizuho innovation
The tests took place in Silicon Valley, California, in partnership with two other Japanese firms – Information Services International – Dentsu and Nomura Research Institute.
The companies are looking to use CUI (conversational user interfaces) to develop platforms to provide financial information and services using AI and chat.
In the trials, the Facebook bot platform responded with an automatic chat format, and the Japanese trio are developing a new messenger prototype to help customers open a new account. It is also possible to connect to Mizuho Messenger, which is currently in service.
Amazon Echo (which is not released in Japan) was connected to Mizuho’s smartphone banking app. The plan is to let customers confirm bank account balances via voice recognition technology. Mizuho says it plans to launch the service to its Japanese bank account holders in the US at a “later time”.
For these projects, the Japanese firms worked with AppSocially (a US-based “pioneer” of CUI), and venture capital companies 500 Startups and World Innovation Lab (WiL).
Not trailing in trials
Mizuho is no stranger to teamwork and innovative ambitions.
It recently partnered with Fujitsu to launch a field trial in Japan aimed at providing electronic invoicing and payment and automated accounts receivable reconciliation services using electronic invoicing (EIPP) and financial EDI (electronic data interchange).
The bank also teamed with Fujitsu (again) and Fujitsu Laboratories to conduct a three-month operational trial using blockchain, which makes it “practically impossible” to tamper with transaction histories.