The Efma-Accenture Distribution and Marketing Innovation Awards give the industry the opportunity to evaluate and celebrate the most interesting and disruptive banking innovations. As we begin to prepare for the 2017 awards later this year, we’re looking back on the winners from last year.

Boredom at banks is generally undesirable. Customers who must wait on hold or in lines for service become dissatisfied. Employees who must perform repetitive tasks become disinterested. Yet some boredom at banks is unavoidable.

Or is it?

The experience of Poland’s Alior Bank suggests otherwise. To improve customer service and free employees up for less repetitive work, Alior developed Dronn, an artificial intelligence.

Powered by natural language processing, automatic voice recognition, semantic analysis, and speech synthesis technology, Dronn answers the phone and guides customers through a personalized conversation to answer their questions. But Dronn is not purely reactive—it can also make calls, which it has done to execute marketing surveys and debt collection campaigns for Alior.

Dronn also frees up Alior employees for more exciting, less repetitive work.

For revolutionizing customer service while helping employees do more engaging work, Alior won the 2016 Efma-Accenture Distribution and Marketing Award for Big Data, Analytics and AI.

Come back when I’ll go over another winner from the 2016 awards. In the meantime, learn more about last year’s winners.

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