Westpac backs Aider digital assistant for small businesses
- 23 May, 2019 13:21
Brendan Roberts and Pete Weaver (Aider)
Auckland AI 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.
Aider is already part of the Xero ecosystem of applications and can be connected to a wide variety of other Xero add-ons.
Users can make queries by text, voice-to-text or a voice assistant such as Alexa to query operating metrics such as sales, staffing, cashflow and more.
“We believe in human-centric AI and created Aider to give small business owners easy access to the information they need to make better business decisions,” said Aider co-founder Pete Weaver.
“With the Aider app, you simply ask for what you want – 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 said 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 said.
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.