Developments related to chatbots continue to intrigue. Not too long ago the utility of chabots was being questioned, about their ability to understand tone, language and intent or the value they can offer. And today certain travel companies, including established airlines, are gearing up to accept payments within the conversational/ messaging interface, and hence calling them transactional chatbots. So are AI chatbots finally living up to their intelligent branding?
The situation needs to be assessed from the perspective of who is the real user of such offering? It is already being pointed out that the mobile-first lifestyle or the tendency to interact with a connection via a messaging platform, especially in the case of a “Millennial”, is one major driving force.
So be it for a conversational travel insurance chatbot or a flight search chatbot, the use of artificial intelligence to interact with travellers in a conversation style is on the rise. And expectedly, “seamless” payment option via chatbots is emerging as a possibility. As Kaivalya Paluskar, Solutions Consultant, APAC, Ingenico ePayments mentioned, the users largely have been redirected to a new page till date, but now this is evolving gradually.
What it means is – the user would never be sent to a website to finish the transaction.
The team at Ingenico has worked on what it describes as an “in-built” solution, where the user “doesn’t go out of the chatbot to make the payment”, said Paluskar. “We can facilitate this for different platforms, including Facebook or any open API platform,” he said.
According to specialists, there could be an instance, where microsite opens when a user attempts to make the payment for the first time, but that would be just a one-time occurrence. Consequently, the user would remain within the chatbot interface for completing transactions.
Airlines are relying on partners to step their capabilities in natural language processing, and accordingly, stepping up the user experience.
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