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Some of our DBXperts recently sat down with Michael Lawson for a series of rapid-fire interviews about all things digital banking, and they all had a different perspective to bring to the table.

When Michael sat down with Digital Banking Architect Sid Singh, the conversation was all about how robots are the future of banking.


Michael Lawson: Ok, the topic at hand [at Money 20/20] is meet the Robobank and when I saw this, I immediately went to RoboCop. But what is the Robobank? Can you give us quick summary of what it is?

Sid Singh: Absolutely. So, let me just start out by saying it was interesting, I checked into my hotel on Sunday and there's a little tablet right next to my bed. I picked that up and there's a button right there that says "Robo delivery." So, I can actually go in and order Sun Raisins and snacks and coffee and stuff, and the robot will come out and deliver it to my room.

Michael: Are you kidding?

Sid: Not making this up. This is right here in Vegas. So, this is a real thing. Just taking things back to the banking industry, Robobank is not RoboCop. I mean, yeah. There's some banks that have actually had real robots in there but we're not talking about real, physical robots. This is all a financial interaction and making it more personal for the consumer. So, if you just think about what's happening as of today. There are already a lot of operations that a human would have done in traditional banking that are now done by software. Now, there's still a lot of friction and a lot of that is due to the fact that there isn't good enough end-to-end digital infrastructure to kind of carry things all the way forward. So, what you're seeing is their software is just turning the gears a half circle. So, what we need to get to a Robobank is to be able to turn it full circle and then be able to connect to other things that are able to turn full circle.

"This is all a financial interaction and making it more personal for the consumer."

To give you an example: Fraud used to be something that when you sign up for an account, you fill out all the particulars, and this is sent back to an analyst or some sort of operations person. They're looking at it, punching into a computer, they're getting some results back and based on that they're making a decision whether to offer you a product or not. All of that is completely automated today. Now, with Kony's product, I'm able to apply for a product or a checking account right there. It's doing a liveliness check on credit, fraud verification, credit check, it's doing all of that real time through orchestration and APIs. And if you think about it, it's basically a software robot working in the background.

Michael: That’s where robo came from.

Sid: That's where the robo came from. So, a lot of the robots you see like in the software terminology that are being deployed in the banks, it's generally to improve efficiency and reduce cost. The consumer's not necessarily seeing the benefits of it right away, but that's where I think we're going get to, or we're going to be able to get to once we have that digital infrastructure. That's why we're really excited that the foundation Kony brings to a bank is creating that digital infrastructure, so you're not necessarily tied to your older legacy technical systems that prevent you from doing that.

"the foundation Kony brings to a bank is creating that digital infrastructure, so you're not necessarily tied to your older legacy technical systems that prevent you from doing that."

Michael: So, that kind of leads me to that significance of this. Is it kind of keeping up with the Joneses in the retail environment?

Sid: Yeah. Absolutely. And I'd say that even further because what you're going tosee is completely different from the retail and the social as well. So, if you think if I look at my banking activity. I have a few bank accounts, a few institutions I go in and open balances and view activity. There's ways to consolidate into a single application using PFM and others. But it would be cool if I was just able to view all of my transactions as a newsfeed with moments and activity. So, I'd know if I went to a Sushi dinner with my friend last night; it's the actual social moment and the transaction associated with it that makes the link to that.

And again, if you have that information available, this is where the whole digital infrastructure and the robo keep up.  The robo is always available. An agent isn't. Right? So, the selling job or the kind of relationship jobs that you are used to can be handled intimately with analytics, machine learning, EI and those kinds of things.

Michael: That’s so cool. What’s next? What can we see coming down the turnpike to kind of wrap up here?

Sid: More of these kinds of experiences. I'd love to be able to see taking the concept of a digital wallet and making it a real wallet. Right now, my point is you have these fragmented wallet systems. I want to be able to have one view of my money but also be able to initiate transactions. Right now, I can go to Mint and look at what I'm doing, but I want to be able to pay bills. I want to be able to—

"I'd love to be able to see taking the concept of a digital wallet and making it a real wallet."

Michael: You don’t want to be all over the place.

Sid: Exactly.

Michael: You want to go to one place and do all your stuff right there.

Sid: With all these little robots and micro bots.


The Kony DBXpert Profile Series introduces you to our team and provides insight into how we think and work. See Sid Singh’s complete work history on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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