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Simplicity launches KiwiSaver chat-bot
Source: Tamsyn Parker




Low-fee KiwiSaver provider Simplicity has launched the first KiwiSaver chat-bot into the market in its first step towards rolling out an online financial advice service.

Artie will answer questions online and uses artificial intelligence to learn as it goes. Questions that it can't answer will be picked up by a customer centre.

Sam Stubbs, Simplicity founder and chief executive, said the chat-bot was the first stage of the company's artificial intelligence robo advice and education platform.

"We want to make it available to all Kiwis, and third parties, at very low cost, " he said.

"Artie will ultimately provide personalised advice, and where the situation is
complex, we'll refer clients to fee-based independent financial advisors."

The KiwiSaver provider intended to apply for an exemption from the Financial Markets Authority to give digital advice and would then roll out its plans over the next two years.

The FMA last month opened applications for the exemption, which will allow New Zealand to catch up to other countries where digital financial advice has already taken off.

The regulator came up with the exemption on the back of concerns that very few people in KiwiSaver were getting advice.

A revamp of the Financial Advisers Act will also allow advice to be given by non-humans but is not due to come into force until next year.

Stubbs said the company had been working with open banking platform Jude for the last six months to create Artie.

Simplicity plans to make its platform open source, so others can adopt it if they wish to provide third-party advice.

"Open source is the best way to get a lot of transparent advice and education into
the hands of all New Zealanders."



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