Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) has agreed to buy Estonian technology company AlphaChat to enhance its digital capabilities.

Founded in 2017, AlphaChat provides conversational artificial intelligence (AI) technology for customer service automation.

The deal is expected to bolster insurer’s conversational AI capabilities and help it develop virtual assistants for both internal and external use.

Zurich noted that the technology that AlphaChat offers plays a key role in meeting customer demands for personalised products and services.

AlphaChat’s messaging automation solution can understand natural language, authenticate users, provide personalised response(s), and execute transactions.

Zurich chief information and digital officer Ericson Chan said: “We have spent decades to learn how to communicate with computers through different programming languages. Now it is time for computers to learn how to have a personal conversation with all of us.

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“Natural language processing is key to further enhancing customer experience, complementing human interaction in the most natural way. We are very pleased to have AlphaChat join Zurich to help us further advance our digital transformation.”

AlphaChat CEO Indrek Vainu added: “Customer communications is increasingly moving to digital messaging channels. We are excited to join Zurich on its digital transformation journey. Building on our first-class team and on the strength of our product Zurich is launching an Intelligent Automation Center of Excellence in Estonia where we focus on creating AI-powered messaging automation solutions for Zurich customers globally.”

Zurich did not disclose the financial value of the deal.