City Union Bank's latest branch recruit is a humanoid robot dubbed Lakshmi who has been trained to answer generic customer queries on 125 subjects.
The artificial intelligence bot is being introduced on a pilot basis in a branch in Chennai. Lakshmi has a range of physical gestures and speaks in English when answering customer queries.
The bank says it will monitor feedback from the trial with a view to rolling out bots at up to 30 more branches.
It says it will also work to connect Lakshmi to its back-end core banking system to provide tailored services to customers, including the presentation of individual account details and recent transactions on request. Answer to more sensitive personal account queries will be displayed on the robot's LCD screen to protect customer privacy.