After HDFC Bank, Kumbakonam-based City Union Bank launched the fisrt artificial intelligence powered robot. Endearing and superfast with data, India’s first banking robot Lakshmi made her debut on Thursday in the city. “The total business of the bank crossed the milestone of Rs 50,000 Crores during the second quarter posting a net profit of Rs. 123.76 Crores. We are happy to introduce CUB Lakshmi, the ROBOT. This is an appropriate step in the right direction. The ROBOT is capable of multitasking and will soon be integrated to our automation process,” MD & CEO Dr. N.Kamakodi said in a statement.
Sensitive financial information like account details are displayed discreetly on the robot’s screen and not voiced. “Lakshmi only talks out loud on generic subjects. If you visited our branch with your girlfriend, she won’t embarrass you by showing your low account balance,” the CEO further added. Lakshmi, who currently speaks in English, gestures, turns around and engages in a very life-like manner in conversations. Unlike most robots her speech is not formal, but more relaxed and casual. In the next few months, City Union will aim at programming the humanoid to greet customers in Tamil. “We are also looking at enabling it so that it can service visually challenged individuals. Worldwide very few banks employ robots at branches and we want to bring a whole new experience to India,” said CEO Kamakodi.
The bank was planning on Lakshmi’s debut on Thursday at its T.Nagar branch. But given the rush due to the demonetization drive and customers thronging the branches for exchanging withdrawn notes, Lakshmi might go public only on Monday.