Indian banks are digitizing their processes swiftly and are experimenting with newer technologies for serving customer needs. HDFC Bank has already announced the unveiling of Ira, a humanoid robot for assisting at some of its branches in the country. State Bank of India, the biggest public sector lender in the country, has announced that beta-testing is underway for its chatbot which is called SIA. This will be a one of a kind intelligent Assistant and will help in handling diverse customer queries related to banking. It will also offer guidance customers throughout various services and retail products from SBI.
SIA will operate on the basis of artificial intelligence and this effort is the beginning of an initiative by SBI to discover processes which can be shifted to robots in order to maximize utilization of its human resources. IIT-Bombay supported startup Allincall has developed the SIA chatbot and this makes use of the bot experience and machine learning for offering responses to queries posed by customers. SBI has previously confirmed that SBI inTouch and similar platforms make use of bots and artificial intelligence like IBM Watson for getting work done in quicker time along with enhancing overall customer experiences.
Close to 80% of banking transactions are carried out through machines according to SBI. SIA will be answering customer questions related to education, home, personal and car loans in tandem with term deposits and recurring deposits. According to the chief information officer & deputy Managing Director at SBI, Mrutyunjay Mahapatra, customer touch points are usually concentrated on three major aspects, namely sales, enquiry and service. In case of navigation and enquiry, customers have to expend effort or talk to agents at call centres where information may not always be available. The entire process of finding the right solutions has prompted SBI to develop SIA according to him. There is no official information on when SIA will be officially available for customers.