The robots are taking over one more function at the country's second largest private lender. ICICI Bank on Wednesday announced the deployment of industrial 'Robotic Arms' to digitise operations at its currency chests. With this move it has become India's first commercial bank - and among a few across the globe - to customise and deploy industrial robots to automate repetitive high volume steps in handling cash processing on high-end note sorting machines.
"We have undertaken a large deployment of 14 industrial robotic arms at our prominent currency chests across 12 cities to digitise the currency sorting process," Anubhuti Sanghai, Head - Operations & Customer Service, ICICI Bank, said in a statement, adding that the bank will continue to invest in further mechanisation of note sorting technology and the next generation machines across all its currency chests.
The RBI has authorised select banks' branches - called currency chests - to receive stock rupee notes and coins from the mints and stock them, before onward distribution to all their other branches for dispensing to customers. The currency chests also remit soiled currency notes back to the apex bank. As per the RBI's annual report of 2017-18, there are 3,975 currency chests spread across the country.
The cities where ICICI Bank has deployed the robotic arms are Delhi, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Sangli, Mangaluru, Raipur, Siliguri and Varanasi, and they will help sort 1.8 billion banknotes annually. That's over 6 million notes in a single working day. Each industrial robotic arm feeds unprocessed cash in three high-end note-sorting machines simultaneously, picks up processed cash from the output stackers, aligns the loose notes, binds the packets and finally drops them in separate trays as per quality of the note.
It uses a combination of sensors to check over 70 parameters within seconds and the completely mechanised process of note-sorting promises higher accuracy to boot. "It has also enabled the personnel to focus more on value-added and supervisory functions," the bank added.
This development comes close on the heels of a slew of technology-led innovative services introduced by ICICI Bank recently, including the introduction of Software Robotics to power banking operations and its implementation of Blockchain to enable cross-border remittances.