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What if your bank representative is replaced by a robot?

Welcome to the future! Banks with robots.

Gone are the days when you had to stand in long queues to interact with banking personnel. Banking operations are already available on your smart phones but there are still some banking operations that required a human element.

AI (artificial intelligence) is already an essential component of the banking sector whether you feel its presence or not.  Artificial intelligence operates on smart phones to create a more efficient mobile banking experience.

The time has come when banks have decided to take customers directly into a science fiction novel by providing in person service at branches using robots. Robotics is shaping the future of the industry for financial reasons as well as improving customer experience.

A robot is a machine that is pre programmed to do certain tasks in automated ways using series of actions. Robots may be made in the human form to be user friendly but primarily they are machines to perform tasks with no regard to how they look.  Earlier only major banks like Bank of America, Citibank and the Bank of Tokyo were using robots to provide  efficient customer service and security. Bank of America has a very famous robot named Erica, a chat bot which provides financial guidance using trend and predictive analysis and cognitive messaging. The Bank of Tokyo’s robots actually work in branches reducing the human element in repetitive tasks. They can communicate in 19 languages utilizing a camera and microphone.

Robot in banks
Robot in Banks

Now In India

Lakshmi, India’s first baking robot made its debut in 2017 in City Union Bank in Chennai. The robot was programmed to cater to the public on 125 banking subjects like-

  • Account status
  • Balance enquiry
  • Interest rates on different types of loan
  • Fixed deposit maturity date
  • Deferred payments and bank charges

Apart from the above mentioned generic questions, Lakshmi was programmed to connect to the core banking system. If a customer wanted to see certain details, it would be displayed on an inbuilt screen.

Robots at front end operations

Robots in the financial sector in India are still on the pilot stage, therefore only a handful number of such robots are operational that too in specific branches. Both public and private sector banks have deployed robots to increase customer efficiency. Following are the banks that use robots-

  • City Union Bank
  • HDFC Bank
  • ICICI Bank
  • HDFC Bank
  • Canara Bank

The above mentioned banks have humanoid robots (robot that looks like a human). They are being used as chat bots or to guide customers upon various retail products offered by a particular bank.

 Benefits of robot in banking sector

  1. Speed: There is no doubt that machines process data faster than humans. All the banking robots are linked with the core banking system which is used to access customer data. Queries and enquires are answered quickly by the robots ensuing that there is minimal or no queue. Robots are able to perform tasks that free up bank employees for more innovative work. It runs on the same line as delegation of work.
  2. Accuracy: There exists a margin of error in traditional banking operations while robots run on pre programmed commands leaving no space for errors, therefore a customer could benefit in terms of accuracy of facts and speed of the transaction when it comes to using robots in banking sector.
  3. Delegation of work: There are certain repetitive tasks that are a mere burden to the banking personnel like balance enquiry and fixed deposit maturity dates. These tasks could be delegated to robots and the banking personnel could actually focus on work that require human intervention

Drawbacks of a robot in banking sector

  1. Language barrier: Currently robots used in India use English as its medium of communication and considering the literacy rate it is not possible to implement robotics in rural branches of the country.
  2. Level of satisfaction: The millennial generation is well aware of artificial intelligence while generation X still relies on the brick and mortar approach to perform a task. Generation X may not be satisfied until they interact with a human element when it comes to banking operation. They are still hesitant to rely on robots or on artificial intelligence when it is about money.

Conclusion

Millennials are already frustrated with traditional banking procedures like having to stand in long queues, having an unpredictable experience and unpleasant interaction with an employee. Robots in the financial industry can resolve customer’s issues without a customer ever standing in a queue. Robots don’t require breaks, they don’t sleep and they even work on bank holidays with greater accuracy and speed.

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