Amex acquires AI travel aide Mezi
American Express is getting in on the messaging market with the acquisition of personal travel assistant Mezi for an undisclosed amount.
The Mezi app allows travellers to message their requests for flights, hotel or restaurant reservations, and it provides recommendations and makes travel arrangements at the customer’s request.
Founded in 2015, the app uses artificial intelligence (AI) and humans (they’re still here). The firm says by learning travellers’ preferences and understanding the way customers make requests using natural language, “Mezi gets smarter and more efficient over time”. Same as with every other AI.
Phil Norman, VP of American Express Digital Labs, says with messaging emerging as “channel of choice for many” the combination of Mezi’s capabilities with “our global network of expert travel counsellors creates a differentiated, high-touch service experience for our card members”.
The acquisition of Mezi follows an investment made in 2016 by American Express Ventures, the investment arm of American Express, as well as a pilot with American Express card members. For those currently already enrolled in the AskAmex pilot, it will continue to run through the first half of 2018.
Going forward, Mezi will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Express and will continue to develop its core technologies.