Recently, Envestnet Yodlee, a data analytics and aggression platform, acquired Abe AI, which is best known for providing conversational banking solutions.
According to Envestnet Yodlee, the acquisition move was propelled by the need to allow financial firms and advisors to integrate conversational artificial intelligence into their interactions with customers.
Conversational AI, an artificial intelligence technology based on natural language processing (NLP), will help financial firms to interact with customers through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
In short, the technology will allow Envestnet’s customers to interact with their financial service provider in a “human-like dialogue.”
Abe AI’s innovative technology also operates on Facebook Messenger, text messages (SMS), and other numerous interfaces.
What’s more, the service is expected to be included in Envestnet’s wealth management products at a later day in the year.
Nevertheless, it is currently available for integration with the company’s retail banking solutions as well as its financial wellness applications and APIs.
According to Brandon Rembe, the senior VP of product management at Envestnet Yodlee, “conversational artificial intelligence will immediately complement our entire Envestnet portfolio, propelling financial data interactions and analytics to the next level.
We believe adding industry-leading intent and entity recognition capabilities to our premiere data aggregation and analytics platform and financial wellness solution will be indispensable to the next generation of consumer financial offerings.”
Envestnet said that such capabilities would be integrated into Envestnet’s wealth management platform later in the future.
In an interview, Gavin Spitzner, the president of Wealth Consulting Partners, said: “It’s a very smart, strategic move. As Envestnet gets deeper into delivering financial wellness and client-engagement solutions, a fully integrated natural-language-processing AI capability is a logical value add — in particular for the majority of wealth managers who haven’t yet incorporated these tools.”
“Whether in the bank space where Yodlee has largely played or the broader wealth management arena that Envestnet serves, to the degree that the firm wants to support enterprise client-engagement capabilities (like client portals, account aggregation, advisor/client collaboration), the Abe AI deal makes a great deal of sense,” Spitzner said.
As banking institutions make an effort to integrate additional wealth and bank operations, purchasing the artificial intelligence company ought to help “solidify Envestnet’s position in the market,” he added. “It’s a natural tie-in to the delivery of hybrid digital/call center advice services, as well.”
Currently, Envestnet technology is utilized by nearly 3,500 companies with about 92,000 advisors comprising 43 out of 50 of the biggest brokerage and wealth management companies and 500 big RIAs.
Envestnet has its headquarters in Chicago.
On the other hand, Abe AI has expanded its operations to several locations in the United States such as Florida, Orlando, Los Angeles, and New York since its establishment back in 2016.
The news of the acquisition comes about two months after BlackRock revealed its intention to purchase an estimated 4.9% stake of Envestnet for 122.8 million dollars.
The deal with BlackRock is set to enable Envestnet’s advisor customers to collaborate more with BlackRock’s risk outlay and planning tools.