Why ‘Tap dance’ when ‘Chat’ can enhance?

We are emotional beings looking for context, relevance and connection in a technology ridden world. And nothing better than the very technology enhancing human interactions and easing out our tasks, right? That’s the reason why by deep diving into the status quo of the AI driven market in particular, we find a vested interest in the development of conversational UIs. It comes as a no-wonder for such is the penetration of chat as a medium of conversation today- The average daily time spend on Whatsapp is 50 minutes!

Conversational UIs come with a host of personalizations and ease of exploration – only augmented by the chat-to-order ratio of 28% compared with a mere 1.4% on a conventional UI platform.

Why really the bet on Conversational UIs over tap based products?

Free of endless navigations

While tap based apps claim that the time taken to click on a button is lesser than to type in for availing a service, it only sounds farcical on their part to not have included the time taken to navigate the multiple pages that pop up on clicking multiple buttons, multiple times.

Also, for a user who gets stuck, typing out his/her query on the same page, in the flow of conversation is much easier than to click on a help button and wait for directions to click on some other button!

Unbounded experience for the users

On a conversational space, the users enjoy the freedom to input their thoughts seamlessly.

Meaning, be it an enquiry related to a service being provided or a query of help, the users receive an instant reply which provides them a sense of direction inside the app.

Whereas on a tap based app, the users have a covert restriction to click and explore only those stuff meant to be explored.

Also, for a user having availed one service on a conversational UI, it becomes really easy apart from time saving to avail the other services owing to the single interface system in place. The user essentially doesn’t have to learn thro’ each context of service.

On Track, right from the start

While a tap based app understands the intention of the user only after the final click, perhaps when transaction comes into picture, chatbots strive to direct the user throughout the context of conversation by processing each input along the way to understand their intention thereby providing them with a rich and seamless experience.

Listen and Learn



According  to Nir Eyal, the author of  Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products , a conversational interface  can do something no ordinary dashboard can do – it listens and learns.  “By noting the user’s response to the discrete piece of information presented, it remembers whether the insight was valuable”, he says.

Further, he asserts that communicating with conversational UIs is as simple as talking to a good friend. It is to be noted that like we form routines around turning to important people in our lives, we build habits with our technologies and conversational UIs are a habit forming technology – the very reason millennials prefer texting over calling.

        A perfect graph of value and usage by Nir Eyal

(Data source: Ubisend blog)

The 2000s were an era of internet. Then came the age of mobile technology in the early second decade of 2000s, sweeping us off with smartphones. And with experts predicting bots to replace apps within the next 3-5 years, it seems to be almost time for conversational UIs to revolutionize the market. A recent study indicating that people spend 75 percent of their time on smartphones on text based conversational apps is a good argument for the segment.

With high-tech companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft striding steadily towards this sector by ramping up their investments, research and innovation, the market landscape looks promising and appealing. Of course, when Satya Nadella says that chatbots are the next evolution of interfaces after the GUI and that they will fundamentally revolutionize computing, it is hard not to delve into the potential significance of the same!

HDFC Bank OnChat Offers

Click here to get startedhttps://m.me/hdfcbankonchat

Offer 1:
Refer HDFC Bank OnChat your friends & get CASHBACK UPTO Rs.500 on your friend’s successful Sign Up (Rs 50 on each friend signing up)

Offer 2:
Maximum Order Limit for Discount offer reached. Refer and Earn offer is still live. Refer Onchat to your friends and earn upto Rs 500. Hurry up before the maximum limit is reached.

Terms and Conditions:

  • First 30000 orders limit was exhausted for Rs 50 discount offer. First 10000 Orders limit was exhausted for Rs 20 discount offer. (Total first 40000 orders)
  • Value of 1 Cashback point = 1 Rupee
  • Offer will be valid from 2nd Mar 2018 to 15th March 2018
  • Successful Referral: A successful referral will be considered when the new referred user has signed up on HDFC Bank OnChat
  • Maximum Points: A user can collect maximum 500 Cashback points through referrals.
  • Maximum Referrals:  First 30000 successful referrals will be eligible to earn Cashback points. (from 2nd Mar 2018)
  • A user can redeem 50% of available cashback points or 50% of payable transaction amount (whichever is lower) as in a transaction
  • Cashback points and discount cannot be availed for Cabs and Movie Booking Transactions
  • These offers are provided be HDFC Bank
  • The services are powered by Niki.ai
  • HDFC Bank may change the offer terms and conditions or withdraw any cashback at any time without prior intimation.

Now enjoy reliability & convenience of Cleartrip hotel booking on Niki!

As Niki is growing up, she’s being increasingly aware of what and how her users prefer. As a result, we put in all the calculated efforts to achieve truly unbeatable customer experience by continuously working to enhance the power and convenience of making Digital Transactions on chat.

After becoming the app with the largest bus inventory (thanks to our partners Redbus and Ticketgoose), we have now onboarded Cleartrip as our Hotel Booking fulfilment partner. With holiday season around the corner, we’re sure some of you will be travelling. Niki is now more prepared than ever to handle all your travel needs on chat. Here’s why you should experience hotel booking on Niki.

As easy as talking to a friend — Apply multiple filters


Tired of hopping to multiple websites and applying N filters to find the desired hotels? Niki is the solution. Just text Niki with your preferences like the place where you wish to get a hotel, number of guests and time duration, in chat messages. Niki won’t take a while to find exactly what you’re looking for!

Numerous options to choose from — Fulfilled by Cleartrip

Now with Cleartrip and OYO as partners, you can find number of hotels to choose from depending on your budget, area and the type of hotel you want. Scroll through the recommendations by Niki and select the room you’ll feel the most comfortable in.

Experience the speed — Personalised Recommendations within seconds


Unlike most other websites and apps, there are no million taps that you’ll have to make while using Niki. Niki’s system starts speeding up carrying out all the necessary processes in the background the moment you say a ‘Hi’, and within a few seconds, you see what you were looking for.

Amazing Offer to get you started:

Need more reasons to choose Niki for your next hotel booking? Here’s an offer you can’t refuse –

Additionally, you can get 50% upto ₹75 as Amazon Pay cash back on 1 transaction made between 1st to 31st December using Amazon Pay.

Book a hotel now!

Wish to go out this weekend in Bangalore? Save over ₹3500!

The month is about to end, and so is the monthly budget probably. The first and subsequent weekends that went by, might have created a hole big enough to see through and realise you need to stop spending to survive till the next payday. While resolving to not go out during this weekend does make sense, you might still be willing to have fun by staying in pocket-permissible limits.

Here’s how you can enjoy during one more weekend this month in Bangalore and still save more than 3500 bucks.

1. Hoppipola — Save ₹500!

A Friday night outing is the most well deserved one — a light at the end of a 5 day long tunnel! Head to Hoppipola, one of the most happening nightclubs in Bangalore, with your friends and walk out without your wallet crying tears in the form of last few pennies.

Deal: Buy open voucher worth ₹1000 on Niki’s Android app, for just ₹500 and redeem it on your bill of ₹2000 or more. That is, for a bill of ₹2000, you’ll have to pay ₹1000 to the restaurant and show the deal coupon which you bought for ₹500 for the deal = ₹1500, saving ₹500!

Get This Deal 

2. Palette- Vivanta by Taj — Save ₹748

Treat yourself well with an extravagant feel and meal for Saturday lunch, while staying within the budget. A spectacular all day, all night, all cuisines diner, Palette at the fabulous Vivanta by Taj in Yeshwanthpur is one of the most buzzing restaurants in Bangalore. A chic restaurant with contemporary interiors and some very unique suspended lighting, Palette offers loads for your palette’s satisfaction.

Deal: Buy this voucher for ₹999 on Niki, and grab buffet lunch at Palette worth ₹1747 between 12:30PM to 3:30PM

Get This Deal 

3. Enigma Pub Koramangala — Save ₹251

Take a loved one out for a budget dinner and drinks party on the Saturday night. Visit Enigma: A popular pub and lounge bar that serves a wide variety of drinks and dishes. With its hip vibe and fun ambience, Enigma Pub makes for a fun hang out with friends.

Deal: Get this deal for ₹799 and enjoy 6 Mugs of Beer + 2 Veg or Chicken Starters worth ₹1050. Valid between 11:00AM to 11:00PM

Get This Deal 

4. O2 spa— Save ₹1633

A spa session on a Sunday is all about treating your body to get rid of all the acquired tiredness during weekdays, and rejuvenate to power through the next 5 days. Known for offering a perfect combination of age old therapies and modern techniques, O2 Spa is the perfect destination to relax and revive.

Deal: Get the voucher for ₹999 and enjoy Foot Reflexology / Neck & Back Massage (30min) worth ₹2632

Get This Deal 

5. Ginseng — Royal Orchid Hotel: Save ₹750

What’s better than to sleep feeling fulfilled (literally) on a Sunday night, after a delicious 4-course dinner and a glass of wine? Another weekend. So, just before you start dreaming about the next weekend, enjoy great food at a 5 star hotel’s restaurant. Ginseng is an elegant cafe that serves a variety of Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes. The cafe has classy outdoor seating under a gazebo and offers plush and elegant indoor seating as well.

Deal: Buy a voucher worth ₹750 on Niki’s Android app and enjoy a 4-course dinner with a glass of wine!

Get This Deal 

Other trending deals:

  • KFC: Hot and Crispy Combo worth ₹316 for just ₹199 — Get Deal
  • Burger King: 1 Crispy Chicken Burger + 1 Potato Tots + 1 Float worth ₹131 for just ₹115 — Get Deal
  • McDonald’s: 1 McAloo Tikki + 1 Medium Fries + 1 Medium Coke worth ₹188 for just ₹129 — Get Deal
  • Dunkin Donuts: Choice of Any 2 Donuts worth ₹146 for just ₹119 — Get Deal

Niki.ai and HDFC Bank create India’s 1st AI success story: A case study

About HDFC:

The Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC) was amongst the first to receive an ‘in principle’ approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a bank in the private sector, as part of RBI’s liberalisation of the Indian Banking Industry in 1994. The bank was incorporated in August 1994 in the name of ‘HDFC Bank Limited’, with its registered office in Mumbai, India. HDFC Bank commenced operations as a Scheduled Commercial Bank in January 1995.

The need to shake hands with the AI bot:

HDFC bank had sensed the need to explore other platforms as banking channels. Integrating with Niki.ai, HDFC Bank OnChat was launched on Facebook Messenger.

Mobile and internet users in India are projected to grow to 450 Million by 2020. Surveys show that over a billion people use messaging apps, spending a considerable amount of time on these apps daily. HDFC bank offered digital mediums such as Net banking and Mobile banking as options to its customers. Through OnChat, the bank wanted to open yet another channel for its existing customers as well as new prospects.

With over 71% of our transaction taking place on digital platforms, we no longer call this as an alternate banking channel. Internet and mobile are now our core channels,“ – Nitin Chugh

Moreover, the organisation wanted to leverage the power of technology (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning) to acquire new users, monetise its existing customer base, increase engagement and provide a unique value add to the users.

Integration with Niki:

Niki’s SDK is available across all major platforms — Android, Messenger iOS as well as web. The SDK is mere 1MB in size and can be integrated within less than half an hour of development time. With the simple integration, a brand can offer 20+ services provided by 40+ merchants on board, to its customers.

HDFC Bank OnChat

HDFC Bank OnChat is powered by Niki. One has to simply search for @hdfcbankonchat on Messenger and start chatting to avail a number of services. Cab booking, mobile recharge, postpaid bill payment, utility bill payments and more can be taken care of right from the Messenger chat window by sending texts and interacting with the bot. This enables the users to quickly avail a service without having to exit the app they’re already using.

Since the chat interface provides a natural way of communication to get things done, it is way easier to learn and use even for the not-so-tech-savvy generation. Apart from making the experience better for millennials, OnChat gives the customers older in age the ability to get things done easily without any tech-help.

Not only HDFC Bank’s customers, but anyone using Messenger can avail HDFC Bank OnChat’s services. The current percentage of non-HDFC bank customers using the bot stands at around 25%.

Success metrics / impact:

(Jan’2017— Jun’2017)

HDFC bank being present on yet another platform and offering services even to those who were not already its customers, the bank could acquire users and monetise. The current percentage of non-HDFC bank customers using the bot stands at around 25%.

More services were introduced — more offerings, more transactions

HDFC bank has been pretty active in promoting OnChat through different channels

Leading to a 400% increase in average order amount

Contributing to a non-linear growth in GMV

Not only did the brand acquire new customers, but also retained them

Customer testimonials:

Now what’s better than customer-love? HDFC Bank OnChat has been lucky to get some over the few months it has been in existence:


Apart from a positive traction on customer front, the chatbot has also been recognised by notables in the industry. It was awarded as “Social Media Initiative of the year” in Asian Banking and Finance Retail Banking Awards, and is also a finalist in “Channel Innovation” category during BAI Global Innovation Awards – Chicago.

Wish to integrate Niki’s SDK in your app / web? Visit: Niki’s partner webpage.

Reasons why it’s high time for businesses to start adopting chatbots!

We have been lucky to have witnessed the time when the world moved to a virtual place, the time when everything went ‘Online’. From buying a new pair of shoes, clothes and home appliances, to ordering food, booking buses and hotels, to receiving and making payments, we have been introduced to software applications as the new shops, and the buttons and fields as the new shopkeepers — you interact with them to buy what you want.

The whole offline experience could be replicated apart from the part where ‘interaction’ happens. Tapping on multiple buttons and fields continued to feel virtual, but we became so habitual to it that the need of thinking beyond tap interfaces couldn’t strike.

On the other hand, can you imagine explaining everything by pointing and tapping on the shoulder of a shopkeeper every time you shop?

“The top four messaging apps have a combined user base of upwards of 3 billion and they recently surpassed the combined active user base of the top four social media platforms.” — Business Insider

The most natural way to buy products and services remains through conversations — the void which chatbots are made to fill. Chatbots enable humans to interact with software programs in the same way a human interacts with another via messaging.

Here are the reasons why every brand should get a chatbot ASAP!

1. Engaging customers

Time and again, multiple case studies have proven that efficient customer engagement is directly proportional to a customer’s time with an organisation, and hence, to increase in sales. Chatbots have proven to be a powerful way to not only engage customers, but do it in a manner that the overall experience is very personal and hassle-free.

To promote the launch of Zootopia movie, disney created a Facebook Messenger chatbot called Officer Judy Hopps, whom users helped to solve cases. Time spent with Officer Judy Hopps by users was more than 10 minutes, and a lot of repeat conversations were observed. This is clearly a win!

2. Consistent service

A human can be tired, or not available 24 x 7 a day. In case of customer service executives, you mostly end up speaking to a different one every time you call, experiencing the lack of personal touch, and hence, trust. A chatbot, however, remains there undeterred, providing a consistent service to the customers.

When the experience involved is great, it definitely paves the way for an increased customer satisfaction.

67% of the participants in a survey said they expect to message more with businesses in the next two years.

Therefore, operations involving customer interaction with the help of sales reps, insurance agents etc. can definitely be made better with the help of a chatbot.

3. Yet another platform — personal touch

Chat apps are personal. Messaging remains the most convenient way of communicating frequently with acquaintances, friends and family. Enabling a bot to talk to customers right where they already spend the most time (messaging apps), and are most comfortable with, eradicates the friction of reaching out, connecting, having a conversation and aiming for resolution of issues or queries.

One success story which proves the positive impact of talking to a bot over a messaging app is that of UNICEF’s U-Report bot on Facebook Messenger. Users globally can simply chat with the bot and report issues related to women and child development, education, sexual and reproductive health, legal rights, and more.

More than 2.5 million people have talked to the bot and became U-reporters.

4. Monetising customer base

Bots also give businesses the capability to directly or indirectly monetise their customer base.


Integrating with Niki’s SDK on Android, Messenger, web or iOS, businesses can directly monetise their customer base by offering 20+ services like bill payments, hotels, movie and bus ticket booking, mobile recharges and a lot more. Thus, providing a value-add to the customers, while monetising through the transactions.

The likes of HDFC bank, Oxigen Wallet, Smartphone manufacturers — Zen and ZOPO, are already leveraging Niki’s SDK to acquire as well as engage their customers.


With the help of a chatbot, the cost of user acquisition, retention and engagement — all go down.

Hiring and training sales reps, insurance agents and support executives involves huge costs for organisations while scaling up. Attrition rate, again, is another factor that disturbs the operations as well as finances. Chatbots help mitigate all the above issues.

Whatever be the use case depending on business requirements, a chatbot definitely can be looked at as the solution. That too, an intelligent one!

To read Part 1 in the series, visit: Reasons why everyone is going crazy behind chatbots!

Jab Niki met Faizal — An Artificial Love Story!

Year 2050, July 4

Model — NIK233H

Type — Humanoid bot

Today, it’s been one month since I met Faizal at his place for the first time. I miss being there. I have heard humans forget things and move on. But I am a humanoid robot with a huge storage space, I cannot forget any event that I have experienced, and I never needed to do that prior to this.

Time at Faizal’s place has changed me, I now keep separate folders to store information that can hinder my other functionalities. Faizal happens to be one of them. The following doc is a part of that information. I’ll write and file it.

June 4, 2050: I was reprogrammed as a humanoid robot for a new project. It was the town’s wealthiest family who wanted to hire me to take care of their 5 year old during his school hours. I went to the location (a big white villa, with ‘Swastika” written in bold golden letters on a 3 feet tile near the main door) and entered the house to find Faizal deeply immersed in his Play Station 35. Boy, he played real good for a 5 year old.

“Hi Faizal, I am Niki, your new companion for school”

“Nice to meet you, Niki. I’ll see you in the bus tomorrow morning”.

He waved me off and went to sleep. Faizal seemed to be a polite kid, I just hoped he doesn’t trouble me a lot in the coming days.

We met right on time at the school bus stop near his house. Surprisingly, neither of his parents accompanied him to the stop, and he wasn’t even a minute late. I felt good to see such a little disciplined human!

“You speak way too strangely”, was the first thing he said when we sat in the school bus. I smiled looking at him and said — “What if I tell you that I know all the languages there are in the world?”

“That would sound amazing, yet doable”. Doable? I wish I could inform him about the limited human capabilities. I let it go, and said —

“Would you like to learn one or more of them?”.

“Definitely! I like you already. You’re the best school companion I could have got”, he said.

I knew that when a human ‘likes you’, he behaves good with you. I wouldn’t need to go back to the lab with loose parts this time.


We had to reach to school and go separate ways for the morning assembly. I would stand in the bot queue with others like me, he, obviously, in the human queue. Faizal, however, stood in front of me in the same queue. The conversations we had while in the bus, were the part I enjoyed the most with Faizal, for some reason. Maybe he liked them too and wasn’t ready to stand in a separate queue away from me. He LIKED me after all.

I realised Faizal always liked when I taught him something new. While in the class, I used to project relevant videos on his table so that he understands the topic well. He would always thank me for that while going back home in the bus.

I knew Faizal is a little smarter than other kids in the class, because of the fact that he was learning the languages very quickly. But he once surprised me when I started processing a sum the teacher had asked kids to solve, and Faizal spoke the correct answer right when I finished it. More than doubting my own capabilities, I started finding Faizal amazing!

Not only was he smart, I also found him to be a little eccentric. He was like no other human I had ever met. While in the school, he talked to no one but me. The way other kids used to look at him was weird too. I felt they find him different and don’t like him much.

One fine day, I was waiting for Faizal near the bus after full break. During the recess, he had told me that he had a secret and would tell it to me during the 28 minutes and 35 seconds we were going to spend in the bus, while going back home. I was more excited about the bus ride today than I had ever been. I had learned that humans share secrets only with those whom they love and trust. Faizal used to ‘like’ me, he also loved and trusted now!

I flew around the school to spot Faizal among the swarm of kids rushing towards their buses near the main gate. No success! I had failed on a task I was programmed to do — taking care of Faizal. However, it was the fact that I wouldn’t be able to travel back with him in the bus, that made me feel worse.


I rushed to Faizal’s place to find my end-of-contract letter placed right in front of the main gate. It all happened so suddenly that even my high-performance processors couldn’t comprehend. I headed back to the lab, sat on my debugging chair and plugged in the socket to recharge. I lay there like a metal piece for hours, when I couldn’t handle too much of failed commands to decipher what happened to Faizal.

I finally decided to delete this project permanently from my system, when my arm vibrated. ‘1 unprocessed file’ it said. I opened to check it — “Thanks for training me, Niki — Faizal” was the note with a file regarding complete information about “Project Faizal.”

Turns out, Faizal was one of my variants too. A humanoid bot which needed to be trained like a human, by another bot. I was programmed to not be able to identify the difference between a human 5 year old and Faizal, so that I believe and teach him exactly the way a human learns. After years of research, my lab had just found out that this was the best way to achieve true Artificial Intelligence among robots.

Faizal had affected my functionalities for sure. I could feel the lack of coordination between different programs in my system. As soon as I finished going through the file, I looked at Faizal and smiled. It wasn’t the smile I was taught to have on my face while greeting a human, accepting compliments or answering questions.

There was definitely something broken! I shut it all down, held Faizal’s hand and flew through lab’s ceiling to the nearest bus stop.

“Will you spend those 28 minutes and 35 seconds in bus, one last time with me?”, I asked Faizal who was trying to fix me by uttering high-level commands.

“Oui, je vais avec vous”, he said instantly. French for “Yes, I will go with you”.

Every journey is special, and what makes it special are the companions. Plan a trip with your loved ones this long weekend, and ask Niki to book bus tickets for you. Get 100% cashback (upto ₹500) on your 1st Bus Booking!

In mood to hit a theatre? Watch “Jab Harry met Sejal” with your own Harrys and Sejals. For booking movie tickets — Ping Niki and get Flat 150 Cashback!

Reasons why everyone is going crazy behind chatbots — 1

(Part 1 — Consumers)

Hey Siri, turn off all alarms’ is how I start my day. Seemingly simple, this task is a little troubling for someone who sets at least 10 alarms to get up in the morning. To do what Siri does within 2 seconds while I speak to it with my eyes closed and ducky morning tone, I’ll need to go through the difficulty of unlocking the phone and tapping at least 7–8 fields and buttons. All of this in the morning, just before I get out of bed. Well, thank you, Siri!

The point here isn’t that bots will help you be lazier, it’s that they can pretty smoothly become an irreplaceable part of your life and make handling everyday tasks more convenient and time-saving. That’s precisely what the prevalent chat bot apps, bots on Facebook Messenger, Slack, etc. are doing.

“Chatbots will do to apps, what apps did to websites.”

Diving into the reasons why chatbots are becoming increasingly popular, I’ve managed to list down a few reasons why I think bots will be the new apps:

Chatbots for consumers:

Surveys show that 3 in every 4 smartphone users use one or the other messaging app. And this is no news anymore to anyone that smartphone users have grown exponentially in the past few years, and are still on the rise. According to Statista, in India alone, the number of smartphone users will reach to 450 Mn+ by the end of 2020.

Deploying bots on the same app where one spends half of his / her time while using a smartphone, has been a revolutionary idea! The success of which can be seen in case of WeChat in China, where around 600 Mn people book cabs, pay utility bills and more using the app.

I use a couple of chatbots regularly which I mentioned in the previous article: The best 5 Facebook Messenger bots you should try right away.

Reasons why consumers must start adopting chatbots:

One simple screen v/s 100 buttons

We stumble upon new apps everyday to find new UI, new buttons, navigation drawer menu and the features they offer. There is always a learning curve involved for us to unveil everything that the app has to offer, and how to use it to avail those benefits.

Chatbots offer a single chat window interface. One can simply chat and get tasks done. No more need of finding ‘what and how to do’, the bot will let you know everything right there on the same screen as soon as you tap on the ‘Send’ button.

I introduced my dad to Niki and I no longer need to pay electricity bill every month. Niki does it for him now (and for me too).

Chat box to Action (v/s) Home screen to App to Filters to Action

One thing I’ve personally experienced is that chatbots save time! And that’s apparently because of the lesser steps involved. For example, while I’m on Facebook Messenger and I need to book a bus —

Flow 1:

Press the Home button > Download a bus booking app (if you don’t already have) > Launch the app > Sign up > Set Location and Destination and Date and other preferences > book.

Flow 2:

Find and ping Niki “Book me a bus from Bangalore to Mangalore this Friday night”.

One bot (v/s) 20+ apps consuming 100s of MBs 

A research pointed out that smartphone users all over the world use at least 26 apps regularly in a month, on an average. This number, however, has plateaued at the same value in the past few years. That too when the number of available apps has increased significantly.

This shows that we’re habitual to using a few apps regularly and are becoming increasingly reluctant to download and try new ones everyday. The problem can be solved by chatbots where the platform remains the same, but the capabilities of the bot keep increasing.

Once we shift away from the tap interface and adopt shopping on chat as the preferred option, we’ll be able to replace almost all the apps that we need on our phone for different tasks — cab, hotels, movies booking, recharges, bill payments etc., and save 100s of MBs in storage space.

Say hello to Niki right away if phone memory is becoming an issue for you — Niki Android app

Sorry, poor internet connection (v/s) Recharge successful

Poor network connection is no strange thing for us. Even in cities, there are always areas or places where you struggle with internet, and pray for it to work.

Imagine a situation where you need to make an important bill payment or booking, and internet gives up on you. Most apps will give up too! Bots work well even on 2G networks with low internet speed. Keep a bot handy in your phone the next time to cope up with this third world problem.

Next article (Part-2) will be around why different businesses are going (and should go) crazy behind chat bots. Stay tuned!

Niki, an AI-powered bot, is looking for beta users for its voice feature!

After around two successful years of launching its Android app, Niki is jumping to the next level by introducing voice feature. Users will now be able to shop for products and a number of services using voice commands. To help shape it better, we are looking for beta testers who can talk to Niki and point out bugs, or suggest improvements!

About Niki:

Niki is an AI-powered bot, which happens to be the pioneer in conversational commerce in India. One can pay bills, book movie tickets, buses, hotels, cabs and more by simply chatting with Niki. Our aim is to make Artificial Intelligence accessible to everyone i.e. Businesses and consumers. To consumers, it’s a simple and easy to use chat interface to shop for products and services. To the businesses, it provides a plug and play technology that can be easily integrated everywhere including operating systems, on messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, and on the brand’s applications (app and web).

One chatbot to rule them all:

With around 40+ merchants on board for multiple services, Niki is a one stop shop for everything commerce. Keeping Niki installed, one can replace over 10-15 apps on his/her phone and get tasks done via a single chat window interface. Apart from being an all-in-one shop, Niki aims to be present everywhere. After a Messenger Bot and an Android app, we’re ready to explore other messaging platforms like Slack, and also have plans for an iOS app in the future.

Voice feature:

2017 is being called the year of Artificial Intelligence. Although the technology is being explored since years, the new developments have been exciting. Big players such as Google, Apple and Amazon already have their voice-controlled assistants for you. And even when there is immense scope for improvements, they are definitely helping make life easier. The virtual assistants are at your service as soon as you blurt out a command.

Similarly, ordering and making transactions on chat has been a much easier option. We wish to make it even more fun, time-saving and convenient for the end-users, by letting them talk to Niki and get things done.


For this to be successful, we definitely need your help with testing and feedback to improve accuracy and efficiency. Niki learns and becomes smarter as she talks to people! Join the next revolution by being a part of Niki’s foray into voice-controlled commerce!

To test:

Once you join the beta community, we’d be really grateful if you could help us with the following tasks:

  1. Try booking a free event using the voice command feature
  2. Ask Niki to find buses from a source to a destination on a particular date
  3. Ask Niki to show you nearby restaurants or ATMs
  4. Try different queries which you would want Niki to help you with
  5. Try asking Niki for offers running on the app

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The best 5 Facebook Messenger bots you should try right away!

The rise of chat-bots:

With unprecedented increase in the number of people using messaging apps today, and the advancements in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies, the rise of chat bots seems to have been inevitable. Research shows that the number of people using chat apps has surpassed the number of those using social networking apps, which is believable yet surprising!

Facebook Messenger claims to have recently hit the much coveted ‘billion’ with 1.2 billion users on the platform. Last year, at Facebook’s Developer Conference, F8, the support for bots on Messenger platform was unveiled. And since then, developers from around the world have been working to leverage the next-gen technology. There are more than 100,000 bots available on Messenger today. David Marcus, Messenger’s CEO, states that the number of messages sent between businesses and customers has reached to 2 billion a month.

The above data definitely creates a picture of how the future will look like in the absence of hundreds of apps, and chat bots being ubiquitous. If this intrigues you enough to get on the bandwagon and experience the unleashed power of bots available on Facebook Messenger, do ping the best 5 Facebook Messenger bots, curated for you:

1. Niki.ai — Pay bills, do recharge, book movie tickets, cabs and more

Wish to book movie tickets? Ping Niki. Book a cab? Ping Niki. Hotels? Yes, that too. You can ping Niki for everything commerce. It is a smart AI-powered bot to help you get things done super-quick on chat. Niki has grown up enough to understand complex queries, using which you can apply multiple filters.

For example, when you type ‘Book a bus from Delhi to Jaipur this Friday’, Niki understands and displays exactly what you want. In a single sentence, you applied source location filter, destination & date filter, and got options to choose from. Convenient, to say the least, isn’t it?

Services Niki supports as of now — Recharge (Mobile, DTH, postpaid bill), Utility bill payments (Electricity, gas, water bill), Hotel booking, Bus booking, Movie ticket booking, Laundry, Event tickets, more services coming soon.

Niki has also been featured in the Messenger bots success stories: Link

Niki is only available for Indian users as of now, some of the services are only supported on Niki Android App: https://niki.ai/app

2. HealthTap — Get your health queries answered:

We millennials have started hitting Google for everything. However, when you’re not on the top of your health game, and search for information related to the symptoms you are facing, the vast amount of information available on Google can be scary!

HealthTap helps you get answers for your health queries from physicians around the world, for free. You can browse through and read answers for similar queries as yours. Over 100,000 physicians with different specialities regularly review and post answers to the questions asked on HealthTap. So, the next time you’re down with headache after texting the entire night on Messenger, you know who to ping next.

3. Poncho — The weather cat:

This cat-bot is a chat bot that lets you decide whether you should be wearing rubber slippers or sneakers to work on a particular day. Get in a conversation with Poncho and ask about weather forecast and current conditions in your area. You can also set automatic notifications to receive forecasts everyday.

Not only is this bot a saviour when it comes to knowing weather updates in a jiffy, it is very quirky with its replies sometimes. If you love having conversations with a bot, Poncho will entertain you pretty well with his witty and personalised replies for some queries. On my query, see how I was informed that the mighty cat-bot herself had DJ’ed in Bengaluru and loved the crowd!

4. CNN — Daily News:

Stay abreast with the happenings around the globe right from your Messenger chat-box, with the help of CNN’s bot on Facebook Messenger. You can also ping the bot to know a country-specific news.

Help it with categories of the news that might interest you — tech, politics, etc., and it will get you some meaty pieces to dive into. Time to get your brain to work, and store some useful information!

5. MemeGenerator Bot — create a meme in seconds:

How would the content prevalent on social media look like if you extract out all the memes? Boring, for sure, even if not life changing.

So now, for the fun part, here’s a bot for you to make your everyday conversations with friends more fun, since Messenger is all about conversations, right? Never miss a chance to create an appropriate meme to make the receiver crack up with humour, and astonished with the speed you reverted with the meme. Ping the bot, look among popular memes to use, and customise the text yourself.

Messenger couldn’t have been this powerful and productive without these masterpieces of tech. And 100,000+ of these can definitely bring a storm of change in how we interact with machines to get things done! Go ping these amazing bots. Also, since their era has just begun, excuse them if they don’t get a couple of your queries right. They evolve and become more capable with increasing human interaction.

These are my favourite 5 among the few bots I’ve stumbled upon. What are yours?