UOB's 2 new robot employees cut data processing time by over half

Two robots that have been assigned to teams supporting UOB's wholesale banking and retail businesses. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - United Overseas Bank (UOB) has welcomed its first "virtual employees", that will take over tasks its human employees have found repetitive and time-consuming, and thus allowing the latter to focus on more stimulating and challenging job roles.

UOB unveiled on Wednesday (Nov 22) Amy and Eve, two robots that have been assigned to teams supporting its wholesale banking and retail businesses.

The Business Times understands that these are not physical robots, but software programmes that can execute "the more mundane data entry tasks" at the bank.

Amy and Eve started work at UOB three weeks ago, and have since cut the time taken to process a transaction by more than half, said the bank.

Amy is attached to the Trade Finance Operations function, and helps to process requests for Letters of Credit by the bank's corporate customers. She extracts a wide range of data and then enters it into the Finance of International Trade Automated System for approval by a human colleague.

UOB said: "What used to take up to 240 seconds, 12 screens and multiple cross-checking for accuracy takes Amy only 40 seconds to complete."

Meanwhile, Eve's strength is in mathematics, with which she will review credit card applications as part of the Unsecured Loan Processing function. Her day-to-day activities involve combing through the information on a customer's Central Provident Fund statement to compute their annual income. The information is then provided to her human colleagues who will finalise the application.

UOB said: "Eve has the ability to handle up to 1,800 applications per day and does it 3.5 times faster than others previously assigned this repetitive task."

Lim Ann Liat, managing director and head of markets and enterprise technology under UOB's group technology and operations unit, said that Amy and Eve represent "the dawn of a new virtual workforce in UOB".

UOB said that it plans to take onboard more robots in the coming months to manage other processes relating to card operations, cash management and trade and remittance.

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