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Now Serving Millions of New Users in Indonesia, Kata.ai Launches Chatbots for BRI and Alfamart

The artificially intelligent chatbots are named Sabrina and Salma. Kata.ai says they are ready to serve a mass population of banking and retail consumers across the archipelago.

JAKARTA, 07 March 2018 – Kata.ai, one of Indonesia’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) players and pioneers in conversational AI, announced earlier today that it has launched two new chatbots that will reach millions of banking and retail consumers across Indonesia.

Sabrina is a chatbot for Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Indonesia’s second largest bank and Southeast Asia’s fourth largest based on market capitalization. Salma is a chatbot for Alfamart, a major retail store with over 10,000 locations across the region that serve an average of 2.5 million customers daily.

These chatbots -- which are computer programs designed to perform functions via natural conversations -- allow human users to speak to them the way they would talk to a real-life human service representative. As a result, they are enhancing the way these companies interact and fulfill the needs of their millions of customers simultaneously.

In the lives of many Indonesians, the roles that both Alfamart and BRI hold are quite significant. BRI serves as a top-of-mind institution offering financial services. It has the widest reach in terms of both geographic reach and socio-economic background. Meanwhile, Alfamart plays a key role in distributing everyday goods to millions across the nation.

The opportunity to create chatbots for these companies represents a chance to more widely implement AI technology to the mass public in Indonesia. The chatbots will not only improve key business process of both corporations, but they will also impact the daily lives of people from all walks of life.

"We believe what we can achieve through these partnerships with BRI and Alfamart is a step closer toward democratizing AI technology as a tool for helping Indonesians be more productive," says Irzan Raditya, co-founder and CEO of Kata.ai. "This much is true when you consider the deep reach of these companies and how they are fundamental in the lives of people in Indonesia."

BRI’s Sabrina chatbot (Sabrina is another way to say ‘Smart BRI New Assistant’) will serve as a virtual assistant that can help BRI customers access information about banking and financial services. Sabrina can help users find the location of the nearest BRI branch, or even handle a customer’s complaint. All of these services can be accessed through natural conversations with Sabrina in Bahasa Indonesia. As of February 2018, BRI customers can interact with Sabrina via Facebook Messenger and Telegram. More chat platforms will soon be added.

"Answering digital disruption in financial services, one of the critical factor is developing customer-centric product. Sabrina will provide opportunities for us to serve better services, as well as being a channel to hear our customers’ voice" explains Kaspar Situmorang, EVP of Digital Services of BRI regarding Sabrina

Meanwhile, Salma is a chatbot developed to help Alfamart customers get the best deals and value from their daily shopping trips. A virtual conversation companion that will help the consumers access Ponta -- Alfamart’s membership and loyalty program -- provides information on the latest promos. She also handles customer complaints. Salma is available on Alfamart’s LINE account, which has already gained more than 16 million followers. This makes Salma a chatbot with one of the largest potential user bases in the country.

Leveraging Kata.ai’s AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities which understand conversations in the local language, these chatbots are well positioned to help BRI and Alfamart customers satisfy their needs faster and with seamless conversations. The chatbots can respond to some unrelated queries and even make small talk with the public. This makes the user experience and interaction with the company more pleasant for the user, which in turn bolsters customer loyalty.

On the flip side, this also helps the companies increase their efficiency when it comes to key business process.

Prior to the development of Sabrina and Salma, Kata.ai saw success with the deployment of Veronika (Telkomsel’s virtual customer assistant) and Jemma (Unilever’s virtual consumer engagement bot). Throughout 2017, Veronika and Jemma gained more than 26 million users and handled more than 200 million messages. Jemma also won "The Most Interactive Brand Chatbot" award from LINE Corporation.

About Kata.ai

Kata.ai is an Indonesian conversational Artificial Intelligence company with a focus on creating technology that enhances the understanding of human conversations. It aims to improve the way humans collaborate with machines. Kata.ai’s Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology powers multi-purpose chatbots for major corporations in Indonesia across different industries, including Unilever (FMCG), Telkomsel (telecoms), Bank BRI (financial services), and Alfamart (retail).

The company’s proprietary Kata Bot Platform can be leveraged to create feature-rich chatbots on top of Kata.ai’s robust and scalable AI technology platform. This ensures that companies of any size can easily build their own chatbots on any messaging platform.

Established in 2015, the company has also become a trusted partner for major corporations such as Microsoft, Accenture, and LINE. In 2017, the company received series-A funding led by Trans-Pacific Technology Fund.

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