BABB is Using AI, Chatbots and Blockchain to Bring Back Social Banking

  • Grace Noto
  • March 3, 2017
  • 0

It only takes AI, chatbots, and blockchain to make banking a social activity. That’s why one soon-to-be bank in London has them all.

The goal of BABB (which stands for Bank Account Based Blockchain) is to make everyone a bank by using blockchain, but also by applying tools and technologies like machine learning, chatbots, biometrics, and artificial intelligence.

The goal, according to co-founder and CEO Guido Branca, is to bring banking back to its roots—when it was a loosely-structured social activity. Albeit, Branca wants to do so with help.

“In the second wave of our deployment we are going to integrate other aspects such as facial recognition and voice, which we are going to implement as an onboarding process,” said Branca.

The company has already obtained a payments license in the U.K., as the goal is to become a full-fledged bank, as opposed to a software provider to the banks.

When the app is launched, which should occur later in the year, users will download the bank’s app and snap a picture of themselves in order to create an account and log in.

From there, users can send and receive money to and from another BABB account, a debit or credit card, or through PayPal and cash at actual physical locations, like post offices.

Users will also be able to create “sub-accounts” for family members, and will even be able to shop or book flights from the app—all without having to enter their personal details, which is where blockchain and data come into play.

According to Branca, the biggest advantage a bank has is data, but that doesn’t mean banks are wielding it correctly.

“Say you want a bank to tell you all of the customers that speak French. A bank can’t tell you that because it doesn’t have all of that data [aggregated],” said Branca. “We are creating an app where inputs and outputs of this data happen on the same platform.”

In terms of chatbots and artificial intelligence, the soon-to-be bank will offer a “chatbot marketplace” for its customers, which can be viewed here.

BABB has applied to be a part of the next “sandbox” class of the FCA; the company will know for sure if they have received a slot this June. If all goes to plan, there should be an app available for global download by July, according to Branca.

“Technology is a tool, but the real value is the decentralization of the service itself,” said Branca. “It’s a social app with the ability to do financial transactions.”

To learn more about blockchain and banking, join us in San Jose on March 6-7 for Bank Innovation 2017, where the best conversations in fintech take place. Click here to register.

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