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Westpac NZ collaborates with local AI startup

28 May 2019
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An Auckland-based artificial intelligence software company, Aider, is working with Westpac NZ to provide conversational digital assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises.

The collaboration with Westpac’s Digital Ventures team is aimed at helping business owners make fast, data-led decisions to improve their efficiency and bottom line. There is also a customer service benefit for Westpac’s 85,000 SME customers, who can use Aider’s “contact me” function if they need to speak with a bank representative.

“We believe in human-centric AI and created Aider to give those passionate small business owners easy access to the information they need to make better business decisions,” says Aider co-founder Pete Weaver.

“With the Aider app, you simply type in what you want to find out – whether it’s your total expenditure for the last week or your top selling products for the day – and get instant access to the data you need.

“Banking relationships are critical to SMEs and we look forward to working more with Westpac to help serve their customers.”

Aider is available to anyone in Australia and New Zealand via the Google Play and Apple App stores. A free three-month trial will be available to Westpac NZ customers.

Westpac NZ head of digital ventures Lewis Billinghurst, says SMEs make up 97 per cent of businesses in New Zealand, yet this market is often under-served and under-informed

“We see great value in being able to introduce SMEs to artificial intelligence in an easily-consumed format,” he says.

“The team at Aider have a compelling vision and we’re pleased to work with them to help our mutual customers grow their businesses.”

Aider currently targets the retail and hospitality market in Australasia, with plans to expand to different industries and locations.

As artificial intelligence continues to progress, the Aider team could eventually use its machine learning technology to train Aider to answer questions important to Westpac customers.