Sweden’s biggest banks are on a mission to get rid of branch banks and all the branch bank employees too.

That’s where “Aida” comes in. She’s available 24/7 and supposedly can handle all but your most complex needs. Your Banker, Aida Is Always In.

Aida is the perfect employee: always courteous, always learning and, as she says, “always at work, 24/7, 365 days a year.”

Aida, of course, is not a person but a virtual customer-service representative that SEB AB, one of Sweden’s biggest banks, is rolling out. The goal is to give the actual humans more time to engage in more complex tasks.

After blazing a trail in online and digital banking, Sweden’s financial industry is now emerging as a pioneer in the use of artificial intelligence. Besides Aida at SEB, there’s Nova, which is a chatbot Nordea Bank AB is introducing at its life and pensions unit in Norway. Swedbank AB is adding to the skills of its virtual assistant, Nina. All three are designed to sound like women, based on research suggesting customers feel more comfortable with female voices.

“Basically all banks are closing branches,” Mattias Fras, head of Robotics, Strategy and Innovation at Nordea, said in a phone interview. “This is a way to return to full service again.

Swedish banks have already seen their customer satisfaction scores drop to a 20-year low after shutting branches and pushing people onto online services.

Satisfaction Slump

Fastest Way to Full Services

As banks closed branches customers satisfaction dove. Obviously, this is one of those cases where if it doesn’t work, you need to do more of it.

The fastest way to get to full services is to get rid of all the employees. Well not quite all of them, just those Aida, Nova, and Nina cannot handle.

“The goal is to give the actual humans more time to engage in more complex tasks.”

Yeah, right.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock