Robot Anna starts operating at Sberbank’s contact center for business clients

Maria Nikolova

A pilot project involving the new technology has shown that the speed of servicing clients rose 50%.

Automatization continues to conquer new areas at Sberbank Rossii PAO (MCX:SBER). Today, the Russian bank announced that a robot named Anna is starting work at the contact center of the corporate clients department. The robot will answer to a number of queries such as ones about the location of ATMs or bank offices with certain functions. In the future, the robot will also provide information about the status of payments and account balances.

Robots are also helping human staff respond to customer questions. A virtual assistant analyzes the voice data from a conversation between a bank employee and a customer and then provides additional information to the human operator, so that the human employee can offer a more adequate solution.

The operators at Sberbank’s contact center for corporate clients handle about 20,000 calls every day. A pilot project concerning the implementation of the new technology has shown that the speed of servicing clients rose 50%. Thanks to the new solution, the average duration of a phone call with the bank’s contact center is 3.5 minutes.

The deployment of Anna underlines Sberbank’s shift towards automation. Robots continue to take over various roles at the bank. In December last year, Promobot started consulting clients of Sberbank NPF (Non-State Pension Fund).

The company explained back then that Promobot is capable of carrying out the entire cycle of client servicing on its own – from the initial consultation to the signing of the contract. The robots will first be interns at Sberbank NPF and then will commence work at Sberbank’s other departments and will assist bigger corporate clients of the bank.

Promobot v.3 uses a sophisticated technology for face recognition and can consult several clients simultaneously. Thanks to a technology based on neural networks, the robot is capable of answering questions and of orientating on its own in a flood of information that is uploaded in its database.

Regarding the risks associated with robots taking human jobs, the latest comments by Herman Gref – CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, are somewhat positive. Late last year he was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that the robotization was advancing but that it would not lead to swift massive layoffs at the bank. He noted that the process of robotization cannot be stopped but added that this process is gradual and will allow the employees to change qualifications if necessary.

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