Limited time as an asset – SMBC forms new business to boost productivity via robotics and AI

Maria Nikolova

SMBC Value Creation is set to provide productivity improvement solutions by using novel technologies, such as RPA, OCR and AI.

As new technologies continue to advance in the world of financial services, it is barely surprising that companies are seeking to harness the capabilities of robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) in order to improve productivity.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. (TYO:8316) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation have announced the establishment of SMBC Value Creation Co., Ltd, an entity whose aim will be to design and implement solutions that increase productivity. These solutions will be using novel technologies, such as RPA, OCR, and AI. The new business is expected to start operating in April 2019.

The corporate philosophy of SMBC Value Creation can be summarized as “Limited time as an asset. We will become a source of power to maximize its value.”

SMBC Group says that, as of the end of September 2018, it has reduced its business volume by approximately 1.6 million work hours (worth 800 people) via automation. Thanks to the reduction of hours, the employees have been able to dedicate more time to valuable tasks.

SMBC has been a keen adopter of novel technologies. In February last year, for instance, SMFG reiterated its support for solutions harnessing the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) by announcing its intentions to further develop chatbots and roll out such solutions across its subsidiaries.

SMFG estimates that the introduction of a chatbot enhances efficiency when handling customer queries and cuts response times. Sumitomo Mitsui Bank introduced a chatbot in August 2017 and, since, has registered a resolution rate of more than 90% to queries handled by the bot. This has contributed to the productivity of each employee.

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