If you believe all the hype that chatbots will eventually eclipse apps, then you’ll want to keep your eye on MyKai, a banking-specific chatbot that has already been in use in Asia, particularly China, and was recently brought to the United States.
What is MyKai?
MyKai was developed by Kasisto, a startup that gestated in the same research lab that created Siri. Like many service-oriented chatbots, MyKai is embedded within other chat apps like Facebook Messenger and Slack.
You can ask MyKai for your current bank balance, or you can ask it to help you figure out how much money you spend on different items.
For example, you can ask MyKai how much money you spent on food last month, and the bot will analyze your bank statements to find out.
What makes MyKai different?
Says Dror Oren, Kasisto’s vice president of product, “We’re doing things you can’t do as quickly in other ways.” MyKai seems to have positive reviews so far, largely because of its specific focus on banking.
MyKai can tell you how much you earned this month or how much you are shelling out in fees, but it can’t tell you tomorrow’s weather or book a flight for you.
Unlike the chatbots being developed by Google, which rely on deep learning and neural nets to teach computers how to speak like humans, MyKai is based on simple algorithms.
This means that it may not converse eloquently, but it can usually offer accurate information from your bank account.
DBS, a large bank out of Singapore, offers MyKai through its own mobile banking app. The CEO, Piyush Gupta, reports that MyKai is much more effective than other general language bots they’ve tried in the past.
While some might find it nerve-wracking to offer their banking information to an outside app, others are celebrating any development that will allow people to stack functions within their chat apps. According to Gupta, “banking is going to be embedded in other things you want to do with your life.”