Handling personal finances can be a challenging task, and there doesn't exist a natural user experience for engaging with your money. Online banking portals and mobile apps are one-off interactions that don't help people manage their money over the long term. We solved this problem with Alex.
We built Alex with the goal of making it easier to stay on top of your finances through a conversational user interface. We believe that the chatbot as a layer of abstraction over financial information will make managing budgets and exploring transactions easier tasks for people.
Use Alex to look at your bank balances and account summary. See how much you spent on Amazon over the last two months, or take a look at all of your restaurant transactions since you opened your account. You can even send money to your friends.
There were a few technically-challenging problems we had to solve while building Alex. We had to handle OAuth2 and other identification tokens through Facebook and bank account information to ensure security. Allowing the user to make queries in natural language required machine learning and training a model to identify different intents and parameters within a sentence. We even attempted to build a custom solution to maintain long-term memory for our bot—a still unsolved problem in natural language processing.
Alex is first and foremost a consumer product, but we believe that it provides value beyond the individual. With some additions, banks could use Alex to handle their customer support, saving countless hours of phone calls and wasted time on both ends. In a business setting, banks could learn much more about their customers' behavior through interactions with Alex.