By W.B. King
With the goal of creating a seamless digital experience across both virtual and human assistants, Glia announced the acquisition of Finn AI.
“Glia has spent the last several years developing partnerships with numerous conversational artificial intelligence (AI) companies, including Finn AI. These partnerships have given us a unique perspective into the landscape,” Glia CEO Dan Michaeli told Finopotamus.
The New York-based firm currently counts 175 credit unions and more than 300 financial institutions as clients. The deal, Michaeli explained, aims to mainstream virtual assistants for financial services companies by making Finn AI’s conversational AI solutions an integral part of Glia’s Digital Customer Service (DCS) platform.
“Glia and Finn AI share a common perspective that the ideal customer service solution for financial institutions will automate many typical service requests with pre-built, intelligent virtual assistants and provide expert human support for more complex user needs,” Michaeli added.
Jake Tyler, who co-founded Finn AI and served as its CEO, explained that the company had been working with Glia for several years and noticed a “strong synergy” on financial services, market approach and culture.
“Leadership from both companies saw a tremendous opportunity to combine forces and offer our conversational AI as part of Glia’s seamless Digital Customer Service platform, all as a single solution,” Tyler said.
Founded in 2014, the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada -based Finn AI provided AI-powered virtual assistant platform for banks and credit unions, including BECU and United Federal Credit Union.
“We believe this is great news for the credit union industry, bringing proven conversational AI solutions that were developed specifically for digital banking and can greatly help credit unions seeking to automate member services as part of a seamless digital-first solution,” Tyler said. “This should make it easier for credit unions to leverage virtual assistants and drive real value for their organization.”
In Michaeli’s estimation, credit unions are continually prioritizing digital transformation across every aspect of their business, including member service. To this end, he said that AI will need to be “infused” into all aspects of the transformation.
“A number of credit unions are already taking advantage of the virtual assistants on Glia’s Digital Customer Service platform, offering 24/7/365 service and helping member service reps become more strategic by handling routine questions,” he said.
Bringing Finn AI’s technology to Glia’s platform, he added, creates more opportunities to accelerate innovation, leverage a vast amount of anonymized training data from a broad range of members. The goal: optimizing the member experience.
“This powerful combination will empower credit unions to deliver digital-first interactions that seamlessly blend both human and virtual assistance - all from a single trusted partner,” he said.
With so many AI companies in the space, Finopotamus asked Michaeli what made Finn AI stand out. He responded: team and culture, data science expertise, vertical focus and enterprise-grade.
Speaking to the latter characteristic, he said: “Much like Glia, from the outset, Finn AI has been focused on building a product that is both reliable and secure. This includes triple-hot infrastructure without a single-point of failure and robust access controls with end-to-end encryption.”
What intrigued Tyler about Glia was its development of a seamless DSC platform that allows financial institutions to offer a fully digital experience across SMS, chat, OnScreen voice and video without breaking the connection.
“We had already pre-integrated our virtual assistants with the Glia platform and this will further enhance the seamless experience, from chatbot to human and across all channels,” Tyler said. “Together, we offer the most integrated Digital Customer Service solution in the industry, now from a single provider.”
Conversational AI Center of Excellence
The acquisition left no person behind, explained Michaeli. He noted that Glia not only gained an “amazing new product” to sell alongside it DCS platform, but new clients and the entire Finn AI team. The company now supports 290 employees.
“Glia not only welcomed our entire team to join Glia, but has integrated us into the organization from the very start. We’ve already been assigned our roles within Glia, as we hit the ground running,” said Tyler who joined Glia's Product Marketing team where he leads Conversational AI.
“Finn AI has an extremely talented team and we’ll continue to provide leadership around conversational AI and virtual assistant solutions and also help to contribute to other areas of business, including product development, sales and customer success,” he added.
Finn AI’s office has been rebranded as Glia’s “Conversational AI Center of Excellence.” The company will continue investing in growing the team’s presence in Canada, Michaeli noted.
“Glia is planning on making significant investments in both the conversational AI solutions that Finn AI currently offers as well as new products that will be on our roadmap,” he added. “The main advantage to the credit union space is a unified solution for all of a credit union’s interaction needs, backed by a single trusted relationship with Glia.”
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