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AI powered app at PNB MetLife gives a fillip to customer service

In an exclusive interaction with Express Computer, Samrat Das, CIO, PNB MetLife Life Insurance Company speaks about the strategy for their AI powered app KhUshi - a customer service application, and also highlights the company’s Robotic Automation Process journey for driving operational efficiency

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What are some of the key processes in which you are using AI?
At PNB MetLife, technology enables us to align to two of our core values – ‘Make Things Easier’ and ‘Put Customer First’. Our strategy is structured around the concept of 3Ds – Digitise, Data and Disrupt.

We digitise our day to day processes, which enables us in seamless customer delivery; we mine data and draw insights to mark predictable behaviour of the customers, thereby paving us the way to be future ready; we believe that the digital landscape is constantly evolving and hence we disrupt to keep our digital journey ongoing.

Digital transformation had been a challenge for Indian companies for various reasons. Overcoming this challenge has been the main agenda of many CIOs, including myself. However, at PNB MetLife we are able to constantly evolve our technology seamlessly through sets of processes that help in the transition.
While implementing newer technologies, we aim at creating an environment of cost and time efficient processes that ultimately enhance the customer’s experience. Being a life insurance company, our main focus during the transition period stays on keeping the information and data secure. We take intense measures during this period so that there are no lapses during transition phase.
In today’s times, we need to realise that digital transformation cannot happen in a silo. A business needs to see benefits from digital assets and solutions. We are happy to state that at PNB MetLife, our digital processes are based on the benefits, which add value to the business.

Last year we launched “KhUshi”, a customer service app, an AI-powered app from an insurance company which is capable of understanding the language via text and speech and provide assistance to consumers.

What have been the key benefits?
KhUshi has enabled better customer services by improving our response time. These processes have also helped us in better analysing the sentiments of our customers through the chatbots. Our chatbots help us to automatically provide information, facilitate a purchase and help stay connected to our customers and deliver them the service they need, 24×7.

Also, since we now have an upcoming set of customer “the millennials” we have moved from “being served to self-servicing mode of service” and hence, providing a personalised experience has become even more paramount than ever. Our apps such as KhUshi allow us provide hyper personalised services to our customers, giving us an edge over the competitors.

How critical is AI in the digital journey of your firm?
We abide by the principle of digitising data to create disruption. We have constantly tried to disrupt the life insurance industry in India with our technology. In today’s digital era the technological ability of any firm depends on how efficiently are they able to process the vast amount of available unstructured data for better predictions or business processes. We believe technology is a continuous process and at PNB MetLife, we are constantly innovating. Be it new regulations or practices, we develop technology, which are imperative to business.

With everything becoming dynamic in this ever-changing era, it has become imperative to embrace meaningful technological solutions and embed them with the business operations to enhance business capabilities. One of such technologies, which was designed with an agenda of aiding sales force with better efficiencies, is eBranch. We launched eBranch in 2016. This 24X7 virtual branch eliminates any dependency on physical infrastructure across bancassurance distribution partners, thereby enabling faster transactions, resulting in enhanced operational efficiency and better productivity. We have integrated such value driven technologies for several functions – all resonating one of our values – ‘Make Things Easier’.

In terms of security, we have robust compliance processes which mitigates such risks. All our technological innovations are regulated by such guidelines.

What have you been able to do today that would not have been possible without using AI?
At PNB MetLife we have embarked into the journey of driving operational efficiency through the lever of Robotic Process Automation. One of the process we have automated is Auto Debit Mandate process.

We introduced RPA for rule based high volume transactions, which are repetitive in nature. RPA plays a vital role in shaping up our digital journey. It allows us to continuously relook at our existing processes and optimise the efficiencies. Besides, the robots which we have deployed are inter-operable, which means that during month ends or high-volume days, we can make them multi-task and involve them in other processes as well, an aspect not possible for manual systems.

We deployed RPA technology in our organisation six months back for driving operational efficiency. Going forward, as a part of our digital journey, we would come up with process enhancements and our robots will be capable of handling more complex operations then.

Our AI initiatives such as the app KhUshi has allowed us to making better predictions and providing more personalised and customised solutions and services to our customers.

Regarding evolution of AI in your company – do you see AI handling more complex processes now or will it be in the future?
At PNB MetLife we have embarked into the journey of driving operational efficiency through the lever of Robotic Process Automation. One of the process we have automated is Auto Debit Mandate process. We introduced RPA for rule based high volume transactions, which are repetitive in nature.

RPA plays a vital role in shaping up our digital journey. It allows us to continuously relook at our existing processes and optimise the efficiencies. Besides, the robots which we have deployed are inter-operable, which means that during month ends or high-volume days, we can make them multi-task and involve them in other processes as well, an aspect not possible for manual systems.

We deployed RPA technology in our organisation nine months back for driving operational efficiency. Going forward, as a part of our digital journey, we would
come up with process enhancements and our robots will be capable of handling more complex operations.

Recently, about eight months ago we have also implemented robotics for 30 internal processes. We implemented these robotics processes based on two principles – substituting only the efficient process with robotics and enabling interoperability to optimise value. We plan on further building these capabilities.


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