Waiting to see if…..

Waiting to see if…….

I had written a letter to BUSINESS TODAY in response to an article related to ROBOTS slowly replacing humans in the Banking Sector too. My letter has not yet been published in the latest issue. EDITOR’S DECISION remains FINAL!! Here is what I had written: SCORING OVER HUMANS 

Dear Sir, Your Tech Special article titled Scoring Over Humans (BT October 23, 2016) was a timely pointer of the things to come. For your information, Robots are not only being used in manufacturing services and homes, they have also now entered into the hallow portals of the Banking Sector as well. A recent news item in the media said: ICICI Bank introduces ‘Software Robotics’ to power banking operations. The bank claims it is the first bank in the country and among few, globally, to roll-out ‘Software Robotics’. Reportedly over 200 software robots are performing over 10 lakh banking transactions every working day in the bank. Introduction of such robots has reportedly resulted in cutting down response time to customers by up to 60% and increased accuracy to 100% besides sharply raising efficiency and productivity. Such Robots can emulate human actions to automate and perform repetitive, high volume and time consuming business tasks cutting across multiple applications. This has also enabled the bank’s employees to focus more on value-added and customer-related functions. The bank has deployed these software robots in over 200 business process functions across the organization including retail banking operations, agri-business, trade & foreign exchange, treasury and human resources management as well. Many other banks are also in the queue to introduce Robots. As per a study by a well known company, three key areas in the banking sector in which robots can make a noticeable and an early impact are: customer service, competition and cost. By use of robotics, the banks can relieve expensive, high value, human resources from menial tasks and use them on the front line for assisting customers. It is now well known that in an increasingly crowded market, customers are very demanding and banks need to quickly adapt modern policies and procedures, marketing initiatives, compliance rules etc to not only win them over but also retain them. Robotics can perform many manual tasks and thus have a huge impact on the profitability of banks, making cost control a key task. According to the founder chairman and CIO of another  well-known company “we are heading towards a world where ubiquitous mobile computing, an exponential growth in data, and continuous advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence will transform finance into an always-on, algorithmically driven industry”. An indicative list of some of the banking functions which can be safely handled by Software Robotics is given here below: handling new business quotes / new business application processing / increase / decrease processing / bank reconciliation processes / policy reconciliation processes / checking / auditing processes / closing policies e.g. maturities, surrenders, lapses of policies / Direct Debit processing etc. The main advantages of such techno savvy devices are: accuracy and consistency – robots work 24/7 without taking breaks, don’t make mistakes and give the same advice, enable the right decision or calculation – every time, they are fully auditable – the robot creates a full audit trail maintained log that’s essential for regulatory compliance, employee satisfaction – banks existing workforce is liberated to focus on more value-added tasks and customer-facing processes.In short, the days of traveling to our bank, waiting on line, and sitting down with a financial advisor to discuss our financial future are already a thing of the past for many. This technology will also help in freeing up human resources from mundane tasks so that they can focus on providing uniquely human value, like training and mentoring and instead of having to deal with administrative procedures, the manpower can spend time offering personalized services according to the needs of the clients.Let us say JAI HO to such Robots in the banking sector! J S BROCA, NEW DELHI, 12TH OCTOBER 2016

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