Posted by Alison Arthur on 09 May 2018
Alacriti was honored to participate in NACHA’s PAYMENTS 2018 conference held April 29 – May 2 in San Diego. From the exhibit hall and breakout sessions to hallway chitchat, the conference truly embodied its theme of Faster Payments. It seemed as if everyone was abuzz about the promise of speedier payments whether through Same Day ACH, Zelle, or RTP.
Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and chatbots were popular topics in many of the educational sessions throughout the event because of the promise they hold for making payments faster and more frictionless than ever. We were honored to present on these subjects in our breakout session, “Simple, Personal & Seamless: The Payments Experience in the Age of Connected Devices.” Alacriti’s Senior Vice President of Product Management, Stuart Bain, was joined by Jeff Pauly, Senior Product Manager at Bank of America, for a discussion on how connectivity and technology are changing the payments experience.
Our speakers opened the session by illustrating how technology has become transformative in every aspect of our lives. From listening to music and getting directions, to hailing rides and tracking key health statistics, there is seemingly no aspect of our lives that hasn’t been touched by technology. This always-on connectivity can be found in everything from wearable technology to smart home devices. In addition, messaging apps are changing the way we communicate, voice computing is making our interactions with technology more natural than ever, and chatbots powered by AI can automate everyday tasks like never before.
So, what does this mean for payments? Our speakers see AI empowering more convenient, personalized, and faster payments experiences. As they explained to session attendees, “AI allows customers to make payments in seconds rather than minutes.” They walked the crowd through use cases of payments powered by Ella, our payments chatbot, via Facebook Messenger and Amazon Alexa. These types of seamless, conversation-powered experiences are becoming increasingly important to consumers, especially among younger generations. Our speakers emphasized that, “Customers, especially Millennials, expect a conversational experience.”
The session then turned to the topic of customer service. As our speakers explained, “AI’s primary purpose is to create business outcomes that aren’t possible just by adding more people to the equation. AI lets you enhance the customer experience by logging which types of questions customers are asking and delivering greater personalization.” They emphasized the idea that AI is not meant to replace workers or their jobs. Rather, AI allows companies to create scale that could previously only be accomplished by adding more employees. Using AI, businesses can now empower their staff members by making their jobs faster and more efficient than ever.
At the end of this session, we headed over to the Innovation Hub in the exhibit hall where we participated in the NACHA Challenge. Stuart walked the crowd through Alacriti’s proposal for enabling ACH usage for business and consumer payments that don’t require bank routing numbers or account information. Our proposal featured a solution that supports creation of DDA tokens in a user-defined format or Virtual DDA, implemented as a shared blockchain network.
We thank everyone at NACHA for hosting PAYMENTS 2018 and our session attendees who contributed thoughtful questions and feedback. We look forward to seeing you again next year!
14 May 2018 Blog AI Agents that Learn with Experience Businesses of all kinds are utilizing AI to improve the customer experience. While a pre-trained AI agent does a decent job at understanding and performing actions based on user inputs, it’s better to have an AI agent that continues to learn and understand its users better over time. Our new blog discusses the first of three aspects in which a bot can “learn” to do better.