Westpac backs maker of its chatbot 'orchestrator'

Jointly leads Series C extension round in Kasisto.

Westpac has emerged as a financial backer – in addition to customer – of Kasisto, whose software is used by the bank to act as a central ‘brain’ for all of its chatbots.

Kasisto said overnight that Fidelity Information Services and Westpac Banking Corporation led a US$15.5 million (A$22.5million) “extension” of its Series C funding round, taking total Series C funding to US$31 million.

Westpac’s use of the Kasisto platform, KAI, has previously been outlined as non-standard, insofar as the bank uses the technology to “seamlessly route customer requests to the most knowledgeable digital assistant”.

The bank’s CTO David Walker told Westpac Wire in April that chatbots and digital assistants are often developed by siloed use cases, “which becomes confusing for customers and staff.” 

Using Kasisto’s KAI as the foundation, Westpac has “developed this central conversational AI ‘brain’ which orchestrates all conversations.”

“It can sit behind all channels, including many social channels and in front of bespoke chatbots. It’s smart enough to know which chatbot can answer, and when they can’t so it can hive off to a live agent,” he said.

Kasisto at the time called the use case a world-first for a bank.

Having had time to experience Kasisto’s capabilities itself, and knowing other banks worldwide are likely to be in a similar situation with regard to siloed digital assistant sprawl, Westpac may be banking on other institutions trying to adopt a similar model, with Kasisto at the core.

Group executive for customer services and technology Scott Collary said that as “the cycles of innovation are getting faster, so are the needs and expectations of our customers who want quick, intuitive and personalised service”.

“Kasisto’s technology has enabled us to evolve from traditional chatbots to a sophisticated, human-like conversational experience, unified for the first time under a single AI orchestration platform,” he said in a statement overnight.

“This means customer queries will be answered more efficiently with reduced wait times and fewer hand-offs.”

The extension round was also joined by BankSouth, a US Community Bank in Georgia, US and also a fellow KAI adopter.

Source – https://www.itnews.com.au/news/westpac-backs-maker-of-its-chatbot-orchestrator-584274