After the 2008 financial crisis, many would have thought robots could have done a better job than human bankers. Now, this really could be the case.
AI in Banking – India Case Study
In India, City Union Bank is already trying this method by using a robot called Lakshmi, although named after the Hindu deity which is also known as the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi’s role at the bank will be to respond to customer’s questions such as bank transactions queries to interest rates.
N Kamakodi, MD & CEO, City Union Bank, recently mentioned in the Financial Express: “Usually when a customer enters a bank and goes to the ‘may I help you’ counter, a set of questions take care of most customers’ requirements. So the fundamental concept behind the robot is to answer all those questions.”
The robot is planned to be used in one of the banks in Chennai and can be programmed to handle more customer based enquiries as well as other banking operations such as depositing bank slips.
Lakshmi can handle around 70-80% of enquiries, in addition, according to Vishnu Engineering who have been working on the AI project, the robot cannot be hacked.
The banking robot’s main functions include built-in voice and facial recognition and can walk and talk and interact with any customer.
There are future plans to equip Lakshmi with a screen in order for some information to be kept confidential with any customer that interacts with the robot.
Combining AI and robots has been a huge talking point in the banking sector. Last September, ICICI Bank introduced software robotics to perform banking operations. In a nutshell, these robots are configured to capture and interpret information from systems, and can perform a plethora of tasks from data entry and validation, automated formatting, workflow acceleration plus calculating the currency exchange rate.
AI in Banking – China
Another BRICS country has also done the same thing. China’s Bank of Communications has introduced “special” lobby managers to help their customers more efficiently. Bank of Communications (BOCOM), one of China’s oldest banks, has been using robots in 30 provinces.
It’s fair to say that there are still a lot of uncertainties of just how big a role AI will play in the future, today, a lot of us are probably not ready to interact with a robot and talk about their banking queries. However, using this cognitive form of AI will fundamentally liberate precious human talent from mundane tasks and use them for value-added services to solve more complex problems, which ultimately benefits consumers as a whole.