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The rise and rise of Artificial Intelligence in payments

2 Minute Read
Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the hot topic at Money 20/20 Las Vegas last month, with a full day devoted to how retailers and the banking industry are embracing the technology.

Since 85% of customer interactions in retail will be managed by AI by 2020 according to Gartner, it’s well worth understanding AI and its future role in the payments industry.

Most would define AI as the development of computer systems to perform tasks which usually require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition and decision-making. However, AI development is also being driven by Machine Learning (ML), the practice of marrying algorithms and statistics to parse data and learn from it – which gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.

Benefiting payments right now
From a payment and retail perspective, AI is all about data and how that data is used to adapt and learn in the fight against continued fraud.

This is not a futuristic, long-term vision: Machine Learning models with rules that outline typical fraudulent activity are already here. They can crunch multiple factors such as device fingerprinting, behavioral analytics and geolocation to identify high risk transactions in near real time.

This is good news for high-risk merchants (where the potential for fraud and high levels of chargebacks is highest) who can thrive by taking advantage of AI-driven tools to reduce risk and provide a better customer experience.

Of course, as AI develops further, cybercrime methods will develop too, so merchants should be paying close attention to AI and Machine Learning. Together with PCI P2PE, these are technologies that will allow merchants to stay one step ahead of fraud and keep their data safe.

AI and the customer experience
In the drive to provide convenient, responsive and highly personalized services to customers, AI is now hugely influential. Developments such as automated product recommendations, personalization of offers with predictive pricing and scheduling appointments are emerging fast.

The retail industry is widely using AI and chatbots to facilitate online transactions and showcase products and services – ‘conversational commerce’ is well and truly here. Online payments for the likes of Amazon products can now be made through the execution of spoken commands. Facial recognition to make purchases is not far behind: last year Mastercard launched fingerprint and ‘selfie payment’ technology.

These services are also exactly what consumers are looking for: an IBM study showed that 48% of customers want on-demand personalized promotions from retailers, while a further 45% want the same experience while shopping in-store.

The role of Miura in AI
The payments industry is increasingly interested in AI, and in finding ways that the technology can make payments better and more secure. New AI developments will take time and money to develop, but the cost savings and efficiency they offer will make them a very worthwhile investment.

For that reason, the development of AI and Machine Learning are of prime interest to Miura too. We are working closely with our partners to understand new and innovative areas where AI can be used, while ensuring our platform and APIs are flexible enough to take advantage of emerging data and processing techniques in our usual physical payment world.

These efforts run in parallel with our desire to capture and learn more about consumer and cardholder behaviour through Miura hardware at the Point of Sale, to further benefit our merchants.

Watch this space to see how the huge developments in AI will change the way small and large payment companies operate, and how Miura will meet the challenges.