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HDFC Bank unveils its first Humanoid Banking Assistant

Chugh said that even Ira was a customer facing physical form of all sorts of automation that the bank was undertaking at its back end.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jan 09, 2017, 04.54 PM IST
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The bank said that depending on customer reaction they would install more such robots across its branches in the country.
The bank said that depending on customer reaction they would install more such robots across its branches in the country.
MUMBAI: If next time you walk into a branch and get greeted by a human shaped robot offering help, do not be surprised, the country’s second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank is in the process of introducing ‘Ira’ at its branches to help customers in their transactions.

“We have developed this robot in India and we have named it Ira which means Intelligent Robotic Assistant and are planning to use it for smoother customer service, marketing, employee assistance and also process automation,” said Nitin Chugh, country head, digital banking, HDFC Bank. “As of now, we have only a single robot which we could install at a branch in Mumbai to check how customers react to it.”

The bank said that depending on customer reaction they would install more such robots across its branches in the country. However with the current wave of digitisation across the financial sector banks are also looking at ways to be up with the time by introducing automation to ensure quick decision making on their part.

Chugh said that even Ira was a customer facing physical form of all sorts of automation that the bank was undertaking at its back end.

While introducing Ira the bank also launched the second edition of its Digital Innovation Summit, and said that it was betting on blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, internet of things and technology services aimed at smoothening processes in rural banking to drive customer services from their end in the near future.

“We already have around 71% of our transactions happening through mobile and internet banking and that is creating an immense amount of digital trail, we are now planning to utilise this trail to see how we can provide our customers with improved banking services,” said Chugh.

Chugh said that the bank is specifically looking at inviting players in the fintech space to come up with innovative solutions around rural banking on the lines of SMS banking and USSD code based banking that is already operational.
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