Virtual operator Alesya starts work at BPS-Sberbank, as AI continues its expansion

Maria Nikolova

The AI solution is trained to determine the essence of a query and to respond to a variety of questions formulated in a free form.

BPS-Sberbank, a Belarus-based bank whose major shareholder is Sberbank Rossii PAO (MCX:SBER), is making a step towards the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. The company has announced the launch of a smart IVR – virtual operator Alesya.

The launch happens after the completion of the first round of a complex project on the development of voice services in the bank’s contact center. Participants in the project include Banks Soft Systems (BSS) and Service Desk, a subsidiary of the bank.

Alesya processes incoming calls in the Contact center of BPS-Sberbank thanks to a language recognition technology. Alesya is trained to determine the essence of a customer query and to answer to free-form questions. The robot provides information about card balances, card blocking, as well as credit and overdraft information.

One of the main advantages of Alesya is its speed, combined with a capability to maintain the quality of work.

The bank plans to further expand the implementation of robotic solutions in its departments.

Sberbank is known for the adoption of AI solutions, which may be a piece of good news for fans of robotics but is not such a nice bit of news for back-office staff. In January this year, Sberbank said it would lay off 3,000 employees at its legal department thanks to the enrollment of a robot lawyer. And in June this year, Herman Gref – CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, has announced further plans for workforce reduction. The number of employees in back office roles at the bank will be reduced 12 times by 2021, he said. One of the key reasons for the changes is the growing use of robots by the bank. Stanislav Kuznetsov, Deputy Chairman of Sberbank’s Executive Board noted that robots have been working at the bank’s archive department for seven years already and that now robots are replacing staff that counts money.

The speed of robots’ performance at banks has been underlined as one of their key advantages over human staff. Japan’s Resona Bank has unveiled plans to use an AI engine that works 4,000 faster than humans, with the solution to be implemented in the company’s customer service department.

KIBIT, which is developed by FRONTEO Inc (TYO:2158), has as its main task to analyze interview transcripts at Resona. KIBIT will analyze texts including recommendations for financial products, customer reactions to the recommendations, and customer service requests, in order to enable Resona Bank to respond to customer needs more quickly and efficiently.

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