Silicon Valley remains an innovation hub, changing business landscapes with new and exciting technology. Tech giants including Apple, Meta, Visa, and Cisco still operate out of the San Francisco area and an array of start-ups are paving the way for cryptocurrency computer processing, and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). The Valley’s newest innovation is generative AI, namely OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which has gone from unknown to world-famous in a matter of months.
ChatGPT adoption reached 100 million users in Jan. 2023 after two months of going live, becoming the fastest software adoption ever. Its rapid rise means businesses and governments are hurriedly looking into the technology to determine its impact on the technological landscape. The payments sector is no different.
The Payments Sector and Innovation
The meteoric rise of e-commerce over the last decade has accelerated the necessity of payment gateways, which must investigate and integrate emerging technologies to ensure worldwide payments are made more accessible, faster, and safer. So, incorporating payment functionalities into the latest technology, or vice versa, is well understood. Although, unique aspects of generative AI represent new challenges.
The payments industry has historically adapted well to new technologies. Exploration into embedded finance, cryptocurrency, peer-to-peer wallets, the metaverse and DLT systems has been successful. To this point, technology adoption in the payments industry has helped achieve increased payment speed and versatility. For example, enabling cryptocurrency payments, as well as increased security, lower risk, and accessing new and emerging markets for merchants.
Naturally, integrating these technologies has not been without its challenges, but each has—in one way or another—worked toward the betterment of our sector. It is time to investigate if integration can be replicated with payments and AI.
What Is ChatGPT and What Does it Have to Do with Payments?
AI-powered chatbots are built off large language models and fine-tuned using machine learning algorithms. ChatGPT’s platform, for example, sources publicly accessible information deemed correct and relevant up until 2021.
One of the main advantages of the software is its ability to present clear and concise information at an impressive pace. This has led to faster dissemination of information that has been praised for its accuracy, particularly considering how new the technology is.
Where payments are concerned, integration into ChatGPT tools may accelerate the pace at which users can source, compare, and buy products. AI can do the heavy lifting when it comes to shopping, expediting the search process based on user prompts.
Integration can save time for users, particularly when shopping for less common or niche items from global merchants. The instantaneous nature of these platforms can potentially improve user experience (UX). Customer journeys, from the initial prompt to selection and then payment, can be reduced to a matter of clicks. Similarly, providing a multitude of brand and competitor options can help find the best price, availability, and choice.
Other Web3-based purchasing methods could also be incorporated into a payments-enabled AI platform. Digital e-wallets, or cryptocurrency trading, can be similarly implemented into the platform’s interface, providing users with an even greater choice when it comes to buying online. For merchants, this once more increases the flexibility they can offer customers. The crucial element is enabling the transaction which is only possible through gateway integration.
Is Payment Integration into Generative AI Ready Now?
Generative AI chat platforms, although powerful, have several areas of improvement that can accelerate their potential for a new payment future.
Safety concerns for user information on these platforms are increasing. Users have managed to change request wordings to trick the AI into providing answers to requests it previously refused. A movement named Do Anything Now (DAN) has sought to identify the vulnerabilities in the way AI contemplates information requests, claiming to have jailbroken the AI, ChatGPT under DAN programming has been described as ‘AI unchained.’ Although some users have praised the version for its more genuine answers, others have voiced concern about the risk posed to users once the AI is untethered from ethical frameworks.
Safety aside, security represents another issue. To ensure payments are made safely through AI platforms, protecting sensitive customer information is of the utmost importance. Cybersecurity experts have indicated that the security of ChatGPT and its rising number of competitors may not yet be up to scratch for enterprise or e-commerce applications. If firewalls cannot guarantee user protection, it will slow efforts and the demand to integrate payment solutions. Users’ trust in AI can be utilized by hackers with malicious intent, who can pose as the chatbot to launch credible phishing content and obtain sensitive user information.
Further examples suggest the software itself not being as robust as it would need to be. In March 2023, users reported being able to see other users’ chat window conversations.
The Intersection Between Generative AI and Payments
The new wave of generative AI is still in its infancy, so teething problems around user safety, information accuracy, and infrastructure security are expected. As these platforms mature focus on security will increase. The payments industry will keep a watchful eye on these developments, while Transact365 is well poised to assist merchants exploration of this new technology.
Once satisfactory levels of user protection are guaranteed (including clear KYC), payment companies will likely explore the intersection between AI and payments in greater depth. There’s no doubt the technology can realize a way of transacting online that increases market reach for merchants whilst boosting customer UX and speed to purchase.