How Bank of Baroda is using technology extensively for it’s operations
In a candid conversation with Express Computer, Sharad Saxena, Chief Technology Officer, Bank of Baroda talks about how technology is impacting the integration between BOB, Dena Bank, and Vijaya Bank and ensuring that the business is least impacted
How is AI impacting the digital agenda at Bank of Baroda? How is it critical in the digital journey?
Bank of Baroda is extensively focusing on chatbots, both internally and externally. We already have a chatbot named “ADI” (Assisted Digital Interaction) on Bank of Baroda’s website, which is on the IBM solution. Currently, ADI is in the nascent stage, and gradually we are augmenting it further for natural language processing, understanding different queries and contextually keep guiding the customer to the endpoint.
For example, if the customer switches to another topic, the chatbot should be capable of understanding a particular stream of conversation that has ended and direct different subjects. And if in case these chatbots fail to help, then there should be a mechanism either the customer be handed over to an agent or customer can lodge a formal request, which gets into the CRM solution and then gets processed subsequently.
Further, we are planning to introduce self-service within the organisation using these chatbot engines to reduce the cost from the manual help desk. And gradually extending these chatbots to HR operations. WhatsApp being a frequently used medium, we are also installing chatbots on WhatsApp.
Another use case of AI is in trade documents. The trade documents are intense with their rules and regulations by which cross-border transactions are governed. The trade documents go through a huge repository of regulations and multiple iterations. We are introducing an engine capable of learning these regulations from the repository and examining the document to figure out various clauses and discrepancies. AI engine will ensure accuracy and will reduce the turn around time.
What is the strategy to roll out AI tech within Bank of Baroda?
Our roadmap is to ‘start small’, with an inexpensive way and ready to fail quickly and keep experimenting. We are not planning to spend big money on getting big engines. We plan to start small, in areas where the impact is going to be significant.
For reskilling, we are continuously inducting the skill set from the market. We have done the internal job postings to identify the qualified engineers who were into general banking.
What business outcome is expected from these AI initiatives?
From the core banking standpoint, the TAT and the cost will reduce, as there will be a lot of self-servicing happening. We are aiming to have satisfied customers in this manner
Are you leveraging predictive analytics for deepening the customer relationship?
We are further leveraging machine learning to build propensity models, customer relationships, and customer profile. The propensity models predict the propensity of a customer to buy another product and perform targeted marketing. It focuses on the 30 per cent of our customers where cross-selling is high, rather than targeting 100 per cent of customers and carpet bombing.
Since there is a merger happening between BOB, Dena Bank, and Vijaya Bank, how is technology impacting the integration and ensuring that the business is least impacted?
We have a few fundamentals in place, firstly, we only propose solutions with the least customer impact. Secondly, the solutions should take care of all the transition states of migration and changes of MICR and IFSC.
We have a planning process, which includes team members from all the three banks, the impacted business counterparts, consultants and other OEMs.
We are dividing solutions for every application and customer services very cohesively, and then there is a governance layer so that whatever solution gets churned-out, it is examined from various aspects – security, regulatory, customer and then cleared for execution.
Though we are still three banks internally, three IT teams and three data centres and so on; we work as one team and conduct regular reviews and brainstorming sessions.
The huge integration project is led completely paperless. So we are focusing on using technology for running IT. We have the governance model, planning and discussion forums online. The bank is using technology very extensively for combined IT operations.
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