Visa partners with Clinc to offer clients conversational AI
Clinc, a Michigan-based conversational artificial intelligence (AI) company, has partnered with Visa to deliver voice capabilities to the payment giant’s banking customers.
The firm will serve the banks, credit unions and financial institutions which use Visa’s application programme interfaces (APIs) with voice-powered capabilities such as fund transfers, bill payments and opening a new credit card.
The Michigan-based firm, which launched its first product in 2016, also works with big industry names such as Barclays, USAA, Isbank and OCBC Bank, serving a rough total of more than 35 million end users.
Its solution is multi-language and needs “no special keywords” or memorised templates. It can also do slightly more complicated actions, such as sift through a customer’s spending history, dispute transactions, increase a credit limit, and create a payments plan.
“Partnering with a leader like Visa is a milestone for Clinc, and this API integration is going to offer small and mid-size banks a similar experience that some of the largest banks in the world are using,” says interim CEO Lingjia Tang.
“This kind of capability and cutting-edge AI wouldn’t otherwise be accessible without Visa.”
AI is already a big business for Visa. Last June, the company announced that it had prevented $25 billion in annual fraud using the technology through its ‘Visa Advanced Authorization’ (VAA) product.
Visa’s senior VP at Melissa McSherry said as part of the announcement that Visa “was the first” payment network to apply neural network-based AI in 1993, when it first used the technology to analyse the riskiness of transactions in real-time.
Last month Clinc hit headlines for a different reason after its CEO and co-founder Jason Mars resigned. Mars left the firm in mid-February following an investigation into “inappropriate behaviour” complaints from employees, as reported by Detroit-based publication Crains.
Two employees filed complaints against Mars in December, but their exact nature are still unknown. Mars did, however, send an email to employees which read: “Although the allegations against me are rife with embellishments and fabrications […] the truth is there are cases where I drank too much and partied with employees in a way that’s not becoming of a CEO.
“I’ve learned a hard lesson about seeing my employees as friends and the importance of setting proper boundaries when socialising outside the workplace […] I’ve since stopped drinking and am committed to sobriety.”