There’s nothing artificial about WEX’s commitment to solving business problems with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). While AI has meaningful implications across each of our lines of business, it has really taken flight this year within our virtual travel payment processing solutions. Pun intended.
Last month, we announced WEX’s partnership with AI.io to launch Halo Travel, an intelligent, voice-activated chat bot that it created. Halo is powered by our virtual payments technology and by the Priceline Partner Network. Before launch, AI.io put the platform through more than a year of development and testing, including at this year’s CES (where it was a resounding success).
Now available to anyone with internet access, Halo Travel is the first app to allow people to book hotels and flights strictly through voice—giving them access to the entire Priceline travel inventory, including Booking.com. The app’s intelligent AIs learn users’ travel habits and patterns to deliver extremely personalized travel assistance.
WEX has used virtual payments to streamline and automate international and domestic supplier payments for some of the world’s largest online travel agencies, travel agents and travel companies. With Halo Travel, we’re now making travel payments easier for consumers, too, by facilitating the payment from Halo Travel to the Priceline Partner Network.
Named as one of the Top 10 AI solutions providers in 2018 and one of the Top 50 Best Companies to Watch in 2018, AI.io designed the voice-activated app to be device agnostic. And Google Assistant makes it accessible by more than 500 million people. Users can simply say, “Hey, Google, talk to Halo Travel,” and their entire travel transaction can be processed via voice, no laptop needed.
Terence Mills, CEO of AI.io, told us, “Halo Travel is all about customer acquisition through innovation in one of the largest mass-market consumer segments in the world. Booking travel will be redefined with our advanced, artificial intelligence-powered chat bot. Our partnerships with Priceline Partner Network and Google Assistant mean that hundreds of millions of people will have unfettered voice access to one of the largest travel inventories in the industry. This wouldn’t be possible for us to bring this to market without WEX’s virtual payments technology.”
Halo Travel fills a real need in the market, as more than half of U.S. travelers say they are comfortable requesting general information using a voice-powered digital assistant, but only a fifth to a third of travelers are actively using voice for tasks like searching for or booking travel products. Through the Halo Travel app, WEX is simplifying payments and increasing efficiency for travelers around the world. We can’t wait to see where AI will take us next.
Want to know more about the work that WEX is doing in artificial intelligence across our lines of business? Read about how AI is shaping the future of payment optimization and transforming business travel.