Japan’s Rakuten Securities launches AI chat for pension plans

Maria Nikolova

The AI-based chat will automatically respond to general enquiries about iDeCo using the LINE messaging app.

Japanese financial services companies continue to be at the forefront of adoption of solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Today, online trading services provider Rakuten Securities, a subsidiary of Rakuten Inc (TYO:4755), announces the start of offering of AI-based chat dedicated to individual-type defined contribution pension plans (iDeCo). Such plans are very popular in Japan, which has one of the world’s longest average life expectancies and the market for those thinking of their financial future post-retirement is huge.

The new service will be available to users of the LINE messaging app. The AI chat will automatically respond to general enquiries about iDeCo. The new solution is set to improve the accuracy of answers while being able to interact with numerous customers. The service is still in its early stages but the company promises to develop it further.

The AI chat will work 24/7, including holidays, which is, of course, a basic advantage of this type of technology over any human staff. The service may be unavailable only during periods of system maintenance.

This is not the first time that Rakuten offers an AI-based solution to its customers. In August last year, for instance, Rakuten Card launched a new chat support service based on AI engine Qlofune.

The solution, developed by i Focus network co., ltd., is capable of answering various customer questions, ranging from card limits to instructions on what to do in case a card gets stolen. One of the advantages of the new service is that it is available 24/7 and takes a break only during system maintenance. Furthermore, the precision of answers is gradually improved thanks to the AI engine learning capabilities, that is, the ability to analyze queries in detail and adjust answers accordingly.

In December last year, Rakuten underlined its passion for AI via the launch of an accelerator program to provide innovative startup companies from around the world with a chance to shape the future of “Messaging as a Platform” for new technologies. The range of areas considered for the program cover: AI including chat bot, chat commerce, mobile wallet and crypto currency, ad tech, VR and AR solutions, voice recognition, image recognition, translation, content such as music and sports, chat based IoT, and enterprise integrated messaging.

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