MasterCard account holders will soon be able to check on their accounts, track their spending, review past purchases and more right in Facebook Messenger. That’s right – MasterCard is the latest company to embrace Facebook’s chatbot platform as a new means of interacting with its customers in an automated, but A.I.-enhanced way.
The company announced its plans at the Money 20/20 conference this week. The bot itself is powered by Kasisto’s conversational A.I. platform KAI, a spin-off from SRI International. (SRI, as you may know, was also home to Siri before Apple acquired it.)
With the bot, customers will be able to ask a number of questions about their accounts, as well as set spending alerts, learn about their cardholder benefits, and receive offers through the MasterCard Priceless Experiences program – its local deals initiative.
The new bot is currently in pilot testing, but the company says it will roll out to all of Facebook Messenger’s 1 billion users, starting early next year, in the U.S. first.
In addition, MasterCard also detailed its MasterCard bot for merchants, will allow online shoppers make purchases on messaging platforms, like Facebook Messenger. Later this year, merchant partners will be able to access MasterCard’s Bot Commerce API to start testing MasterCard integration in their own chatbots, says the company.
MasterCard is not alone in embracing bot-based commerce. Though it’s unclear that consumers themselves have warmed to the idea of interacting with virtual assistants for online shopping and account management, that hasn’t seemed to slow companies down from developing for the various messaging platforms. For example, American Express debuted its own Facebook Messenger bot earlier this year, and yesterday, PayPal announced its own plans for further Messenger integrations.