Note from the Publisher: When we first launched FintekNews, our daily newsletter included advertising. For now, we’ve removed it (though it will return shortly) but the reason we bring it up is that one of the advertisers was Softbank, a robotics manufacturer with a humanoid robot called Pepper.
We mention this because we saw a piece today highlighting India’s first banking robot, which is nicknamed Lakshmi and is being used in City Union Bank’s most recently opened branch there. However, when we did a little digging, we found the exact same robot (named NAO and manufactured by French company Alderbaran Robotics) had been used at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ back in 2015. As it turns out Alderbaran is a division of Softank Robotics (our former advertiser) and they also produce Pepper. Pepper, a larger robot, has been used in several retail applications and also was debuted in the US at Sterling Bank & Trust in (where else?) Silicon Valley, back in 2015.
Anyway, we’ll leave it up to you to decide if robots are going to take over banking jobs. For now, they’re a novelty and answer some basic questions for folks coming into branch lobbies, but in the future, as they evolve, what then? We’ll see.
“Next time when you enter City Union Bank’s (CUB) T. Nagar branch, chances are that you will be greeted by Lakshmi, the robot with artificial intelligence.
Sounds surprising? Well, the private sector bank will instal the two-foot robot in the coming days on a pilot basis at the T. Nagar branch. It will be placed in the lobby to greet customers and explain various products apart from technology services.
The robot, imported from France, has been customised in Coimbatore to provide basic information about the bank’s history, deposit and lending rates, special schemes for students and number of branches among other things. Initially, Lakshmi will provide answers in English, followed by regional languages in the coming months.”