The robots are coming, says Swedish bank Nordea. But rather than take over existing jobs, they will ease the burden of simple repetitive tasks and empower workers to use their time better.
A new ‘virtual employee’ in the bank’s Swedish Life & Pension team, called Liv, performs some of the more repetitive tasks previously undertaken by her human colleagues. This gives employees more time to focus on delivering great customer experience and performing more creative and complex tasks, Nordea says.
Liv has already brought 80% faster process lead times, a 100% reduction in errors, and helped boost compliance.
And Nordea is already planning further advancements, moving beyond rule-based robotics initiatives and towards smarter, cognitive robots with artificial intelligence.
Mattias Fras, Nordea’s group head of robotics strategy and innovation, said: “The key to embracing all the opportunities presented by robotics is simple — people. We are trained to conduct development and operations based on certain policies, procedures and processes. And, changing this is challenging and takes guts.
“It’s mainly about a change of mindset. We’re on this journey now, and we need to have our people on board, otherwise we won’t be successful.”
As well as Liv at Life & Pension in Sweden, Nordea has several other virtual employees including Sirius in Finland, Erna in Denmark and Roberta in Norway.