Banking Chatbot Val Introduced by Kasisto, Varo Money

More banking bots are popping up each week. Russian chatbot TalkBank launched last week, and back in November, at Money20/20, Mastercard launched its KAI chatbot and Bank of America launched Erica.

Now, a new banking app named Val has been introduced to the world. The bot is brought by Kasisto, a company focused on transforming consumer banking through artificial intelligence (AI), and mobile banking startup Varo Money. The partnership announced that it intends to power Val through Varo’s mobile app.

Val, which is considered “a digital money coach” is still in beta form, with plans to fully launch in early 2017. The bot will provide an integrated approach to deposits, savings and lending. Ultimately, the plan for the partnership is to help improve a consumer’s financial health through better spending, saving and borrowing. Personalizing insights will also be provided and available at consumers’ fingertips.

The companies said that, because research says millennials check their phones more than 45 times a day, the banking platform is meeting those customers where they are: on their phones.

Earlier this week, Capital One reported that consumers are optimistic about their financial journey. However, the study also said there are still myths that need to cleared up, such as the belief that carrying a credit card balance is beneficial to building a solid credit score.

“The common thread here is ‘empowerment.’ We are transforming banking to improve the financial lives for a generation of consumers often overlooked by traditional banks,” said Varo CEO and Cofounder Colin Walsh.

Val’s AI technology is slated to engage with customers in a predictive and personal manner, with an emphasis on knowing the consumer banking industry. The bot will be knowledgeable about both big-picture trends and minute personal details and will be able to answer questions on budgets, goals and transactions.

Early access to the bot will be available through the Varo website in the next few months.


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