August 24, 2017
MEDICI now! Startup Stories highlights the companies that are shaping the new financial technology industry. Keep an eye out each week for new stories! If you or someone you know should be highlighted, send us a note. Without further ado…
Company Name: Finn.AI
Name/Title: Jake Tyler, CEO
Industry Segment: Personal banking and financial management powered by artificial intelligence
Target Market: Global
LTP: Jake Tyler, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Jake Tyler: I’m Australian but have spent a good part of my adult life abroad in London, then Madrid and now Vancouver. Finn.ai is my second startup and my professional background is as a strategy consultant. We started Finn back in 2014 as a means to solving some of our own frustrations with the user experience with money. We’re still working on these same underlying problems today and are lucky to be doing it with a team of extremely smart colleagues and some of the leading banks in the world.
LTP: Give us a high-level paragraph pitch for your company.
JT: The Finn Virtual Banking Assistant is a personal banking and financial management assistant, powered by artificial intelligence.
Finn delivers a personal banker within a customer’s favorite channels, including Facebook Messenger, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, SMS, iOS and Android apps, and web chat. We believe that AI is the new UI. As customers engage with the assistant over time, our proprietary system tracks user behavior in order to better recommend actions that are aligned with customers' personal financial well-being and goals. Ultimately, this engagement will position a bank as a trusted financial advisor.
LTP: In a sentence or two, what specific problems are you solving today?
JT: We help banks connect with customers where they already are (in major instant messaging and voice platforms), adapt to a new paradigm of consumer expectations set by Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook where deep personalization and simple conversational interfaces are the norm, and reduce costs by augmenting human customer care agents with AI.
LTP: And who are you selling to?
JT: Finn is vertical-specific, focused entirely on banks. As an enterprise platform, we sell to banks and FIs around the world.
LTP: You’re in a very a hot space right now. So how does Finn.AI differentiate from its competitors?
JT: We differentiate in two key ways. First, unlike many others, we only work with banks. Our assistant is trained to answer 1,000s of common banking queries out of the box and all of our tooling, our natural language model & product features are built for purpose and are for banks.
Second, we offer more than just a conversational interface for banking. Finn is a virtual assistant to help each individual customer improve their financial health and well-being. Our assistant is proactive and helps customers pay their bills on time, save, budget, manage their credit score and more.
LTP: What are the biggest challenges you face when building with AI and ML, being nascent technologies? How have you overcome, or are you overcoming, those challenges?
JT: The biggest challenge is data, both quantity and quality. We address this by going deep in one core vertical – banking. We have a large, pre-existing data model in this domain that grows daily as consumers use our assistant. As new banks adopt Finn they are able to leverage this data model to deploy a high-quality assistant with proven features much faster than they would otherwise be able to do.
LTP: What’s next for Finn.ai? Any upcoming milestones you can share?
JT: The most exciting things for us are always big deployments with customers. We have a few of those coming up that we’re working very hard on including being the first to launch full-featured banking on Facebook Messenger with ATB Financial.