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ASB is maintaining their edge and remaining one step ahead of the other banks!  Meet their new AI staff member Josie – A first in innovation and technology for Australasia…

Today we are excited to introduce you to Josie, our new digital assistant designed to help our ASB teams support small-to-medium (SME) NZ business owners.  Although she is digital, in a nod to our human teams, Josie is named after our first-ever full-time ASB Bank employee Joseph Coombe. She is the first human-like interface powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to be used in Australasian banking and has been created in partnership with NZ tech company FaceMe.  Designed to assist SME business owners with setting up a business, you’ll be able to meet her later this year following her apprenticeship.

SME business owners including those who aren’t ASB customers, will be able to interact with Josie in Auckland business hubs during her training. This will develop Josie’s understanding of the customer needs so that longer-term she’ll be armed with the knowledge she needs to deliver customised assistance to businesses. If you’d like to be involved ahead of Josie’s apprenticeship, you can let us know the questions you’ve had when setting up a successful business via our Facebook competition.

ASB Executive General Manager Retail Banking Russell Jones says ASB created Josie to foster the success of business in New Zealand with an avatar service that isn’t yet available anywhere else in Australasia. “We’re excited to develop this technology, but more importantly we’re eager to see what Josie will help our customers achieve. Globally, New Zealanders are known for innovation and entrepreneurship: we have brilliant ideas but sometimes lack the knowledge for profitable execution. This is where Josie will help,” Mr Jones says.

 FaceMe CEO and founder Danny Tomsett says “Much like the human mind, Josie’s knowledge will develop with information through human interactions over time. As AI is still developing there are some misconceptions surrounding its impact on people. One of the biggest misconceptions about AI is that it’s designed to ‘replace humans’. Great AI should be designed to enhance what humans do and how they operate. ASB understands this, and they’re leveraging the technology as a tool to empower their staff and create great outcomes for SME owners.”

Josie is the latest addition to ASB’s suite of digital tools available for SME business owners following the launch of Plus for ASB, a free app that brings your business information together in one place, no matter who you bank with.

You’ll see more about Josie later this year after her apprenticeship! Stay tuned.