AIB has partnered with data analytics company Boxever to use its technology to better engage with customers. The partnership marks the first banking customer for Dublin-headquartered Boxever as it continues to expand beyond the travel sector.
Boxever, whose clients include Aer Lingus, Emirates, Flybe and Jetstar, has developed a big data and personalisation platform that has, to date, been used primarily by airlines.
“This is a big one for us,” co-founder and chief executive Dave O’Flanagan said of the new partnership with AIB. “It goes a long way to helping us prove the product has capabilities in other industries having already proven it works in the travel space.”
Founded by Mr O'Flanagan, Alan Giles and Dermot O'Connor in late 2011, the company's technology uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help brands engage more effectively with customers by providing a more personalised experience.
"Boxever allows us to change the focus of the discussions we have with our customers and to recommend solutions to meet their needs," AIB chief digital officer Seamus Murphy said.
He said the technology could help AIB respond to customer needs in real time.
“Our ultimate goal is that every communication we send our customers will be useful and relevant to them and for our apps, websites and other self-service capabilities to be able to adapt to help them meet their needs,” said Mr Murphy.
AIB first approached Boxever about a possible partnership in 2013. However, at that point the company was heavily focused on growing its footprint in the travel sector. But since then it has diversified, securing clients in areas such as insurance and utilities over the last 12 to 18 months.
“It is a credit to the team at Boxever that they have developed a platform that can adapt to different industry needs with minimal change and I think the reason for that is putting customer experience as the focus of their design rather than the individual industry need,” Mr Murphy added.
Mr O'Flanagan said brands in all industries were focused on improving their relationships with customers as a way to differentiate themselves from competitors. He cited the $300 million acquisition of Israeli decision-logic company Dynamic Yield by McDonalds late last week as an example of this.
“Consumers increasingly have more choice and it is incumbent on traditional organisations to up their game in terms of customer experience,” he said.
The company has a pipeline of banks as potential customers, Mr O’Flanagan said, but the AIB partnership would provide additional confidence to those who hadn’t yet concluded deals.
Boxever, which has raised more than $19 million to date from investors including Polaris Partners, Frontline Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank, employs about 70 people, most of whom are in Dublin.
Mr O'Flanagan stressed that Boxever remains highly active in the travel space, having added six new airlines as customers last year including Viva Air, the low-cost South American-focused carrier established by the family of Ryanair founder Tony Ryan.
“The airline industry continues to be good to us and that is somewhere we’ll continue to invest in. But if you look at the number of airlines versus the number of banks there is a huge addressable market for us in the financial services sector,” he said.