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MTN brings “artificial intelligence” to mobile money

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MTN Group has announced the launch of Africa’s first Mobile Money (MoMo) “artificial intelligence service”, in the form of a chatbot. The chatbot went live in Ivory coast in May and will be rolled out across MTN’s MoMo footprint in the next few months.

MTN says the artificial intelligence mobile money assistant enables customers to engage with MTN’s MoMo services, including payments,on various social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and via SMS. The service will also be included over time in MTN’s newly released advanced instant messaging service, Ayoba. 

The chatbot is described as an artificial intelligence guide that assists users to navigate MTN’s MoMo services and provide other useful information. It says: “This innovation leverages messaging and artificial intelligence to drive customer engagement and enhance their MTN MoMo experience.” 

However, don’t expect it to do your thinking for you. As with most chatbots, it simply uses standardised responses to a pre-built set of keywords that may appear in requests. However, it is likely to become more sophisticated over time, as algorithms using machine learning enhance the responses.

MTN Group President and CEO, Rob Shuter said: “We are passionate about bringing the power of our mobile money solutions to more than 60 million customers across Africa over the next few years. Harnessing modern technologies like artificial intelligence can improve in scale, how MTN interacts with customers, enabling them to reach us anytime and anywhere, through a variety of channels including social networks and messaging applications. We can also harness the power of artificial intelligence to provide our customers with the right answers to their questions at the right time.

“We are committed to improving financial inclusion with a range of solutions aimed at addressing the needs of various market segments. While MTN has made great strides in these areas, we will continue working to deliver our vision for MTN to become one of the largest Fintech players across our footprint.”

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