Amex's Mezi acquisition keeps focus on mobile, digital

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American Express has acquired artificial intelligence technology provider Mezi, which has powered the AskAmex application in the past to help card members find and book travel, dining and entertainment through messaging via iPhones.

The Mezi personal travel assistant app will serve Amex cardholders who increasingly rely on their mobile devices to book and pay for travel. The acquisition continues Amex's move into digital payments technology, following its use of artificial intelligence for the Amex skill on Amazon Alexa and the Amex bot for Facebook Messenger.

“Mezi’s AI-powered experience opens up exciting new ways for us to connect with and serve our card members and creates opportunities for us to build more meaningful relationships with them,” Phil Norman, vice president of American Express Digital Labs, said in a Tuesday press release. “With messaging emerging as a channel of choice for many, and the demand for unique experiences increasing, we believe the combination of Mezi’s capabilities with our global network of expert travel counselors creates a differentiated, high-touch service experience for our card members.”

Founded in 2015, Mezi uses AI and human input to personalize the online travel discovery and booking experience. By learning travelers' preferences and understanding the way customers use natural language, Mezi develops more efficiencies over time, Amex said.

Mezi will operate as a unit of American Express and continue to develop its core technologies and capabilities through a digital travel concierge service.

"We've built Mezi to become better with each and every interaction and based on the success of our pilot with American Express, we are excited to bring Mezi's mobile capabilities to more card members," Snehal Shinde, co-founder and chief technology officer of Mezi, said in the release.

Amex did not disclose financial details of the acquisition.

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Artificial intelligence Mobile payments M&A American Express