Deutsche Bank’s first digital employee joins workforce
Last October flow reported robotic process automation (RPA) was already underway, but its impact on corporate treasury would increasingly become evident over the course of the 2020s.
Deutsche Bank’s Corporate Bank division in China is already anticipating the trend, announcing this month the onboarding of Blue Bot ‘Yi’ – its first digital employee and named after its creator Zhu Yi, Head of China Innovation and Fintech Products – Corporate Bank.
Allocated an employee ID number as well as a dedicated working email address, the new recruit is performing a client-facing role with responsibility for handling financial reports, including real-time customised transaction and cash pooling reports. Yi is also processing direct client enquiries, which has already been successfully done for two of Deutsche Bank’s clients in China.
A treasurer for one client commented: “The tremendous feeling I got for digital worker is that our working process has not changed at all, you can’t even feel it as a machine. All you receive is real-time response of transaction information, and you can always receive the exact financial information upon request.”
The digital employee is still receiving new training, which will be further enhanced after being integrated with Deutsche Bank’s application programming interface (API) and other artificial intelligence capabilities. The range of tasks that Yi will undertake extends well beyond those coming under the basic concept of RPA, giving it increased efficiency while also reducing costs.
Alvin Ho, Head of Corporate Cash Management for China at Deutsche Bank adds: “We aim to empower our clients’ Treasury teams to handle increasing amount of documents and data while eliminating human-related errors, reducing repetitive tasks and significantly minimising turnaround time. All these will be made possible via the deployment of Blue Bot ‘Yi’.”
Yi was developed by Deutsche Bank’s Blue Water Fintech Space in Shanghai, which opened in September 20191 as the bank’s first innovation hub in China and aimed to accelerate the its digital offering to clients onshore and facilitate partnerships with the fintech community. In its first few months of operation, Blue Water assessed 12 fintech partner solutions and delivered an RPA solution for a client.
Blue Bot Yi’s ability to perform a range of duties is based on RPA combined with semantic recognition and AI technology to automatically complete the collection and distribution of customised information.
“The Blue Water Fintech Space in China is our incubator to further optimise the automation of cash management services for our clients – it is the digital foundation for Deutsche Bank’s Corporate Bank,” explains Dirk Lubig, China Head of Global Transaction Banking at Deutsche Bank.
“Blue Bot ‘Yi’’s performance is encouraging, based on the very positive feedback we received from our clients and this is only the first step. We want to expand our digital and AI driven solutions and service offerings in China, one of the world’s leading countries for innovation.”