Joining the league of other private sector giants such as HDFC and Yes Bank, India’s largest public sector lender State Bank of India, has introduced its own artificial intelligence powered chatbot, Sia.
The chatbot, which is currently undergoing beta testing is programmed to take care of customer queries and give out information on SBI’s wide range of products and services. The bank’s website displays a message “still learning”, when asked a query.
The chatbot is designed in a way that can answer customer queries regarding home loans, education loans, personal loans, RD, term deposit, car loans, amongst others. The digital platforms by SBI such as inTouch are already using technologies like artificial intelligence. The bank also deploys IBM Watson for improving customer experience.
“It will take some more time for these to evolve to a level where these can be offered to such a diverse customer base”, Vijay Kumar, former analytics head at SBI had said in an interview with AIM, on SBI’s plan to adopt chatbot.
“SBI has successfully deployed workforce enablement tools like chatbots which have helped improve productivity and quality of customer service personnel. A number of self-service tools such as SMS banking and mobile apps have been made available to customers, and are used by millions of customers”, he had said.
Reportedly, the bank claims that more than 80 percent of SBI’s transaction are done in non-branch journeys, i.e. only through machines, without any assistance by SBI employee.
The adoption of chatbots and artificial intelligence by banks has been on a constant rise with many private sector banks already adopting it. HDFC recently launched AI powered chatbot EVA, that uses AI to address customer issues. Others in the list are Yes banks’s Yes Pay bot, Digi Bank’s KAI, ICICI bank’s software robotics leveraging recent advancements in AI to name a few.