Banking through video chats, voice messages

(From left) Parikshit Paspulati, Ravi Shankar and Shankar Narayanan, co-founders of Active.ai
When customers call their bank to resolve an issue, they often get lost in the interactive voice response (IVR) system. What if you could make a call to the bank and resolve the issue over a video chat than queue up on the IVR? 

Active Ai, a Singapore-based start-up, provides such digital services as banking through live chat, voice messaging using artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. Last week, the fintech start-up raised $3 million from IDG Ventures India and Kalaari Capital. Banks are focusing on offering user-friendly services through app-based transaction, solving queries on live chats and so on. “Banking is going through a transformation and banking as a service is the way forward,” says Ravi Shankar, chief executive and co-founder, Active.ai. 

Axis Bank is the first institution Active.ai worked with. The company is in talks with more banks across Asia. “We have a strong pipeline of customers across Asia,” says Ravi Shankar. Today, less than a billion people have access to banking services. Active.ai’s technology can extend banking services to three billion untapped people who use smartphones. “We believe this market (AI-based services for banks) will evolve quickly to be worth more than $250 million within a couple of years,” says Ravi Shankar. Israeli firms Kasisto and Personetics have similar offerings and reportedly seen initial success. 

Kalaari Capital says Active.ai is poised to tap into the large market opportunity for messaging-based mobile banking. “Forty-three per cent of worldwide mobile phone consumers with a bank account use mobile banking today. The new generation of banking customers are looking for easy, secure and seamless interaction with their financial services provider. IDG Ventures is very excited to partner with Active.ai,” says Sanat Rao of IDG Ventures.  



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