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Updated: March 4, 2014 23:14 IST

Uniphore Software Systems eyes banking space

Staff Reporter
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Umesh Sachdev
The Hindu
Umesh Sachdev

High networth individuals may soon get a desi Siri-like virtual assistant to help perform banking and investing activities if Chennai-based start-up Uniphore has its way.

Uniphore Software Systems, which was incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology, offers voice biometric solutions that enable the authentication of identity.

After picking up just $100,000 in funding, the company has been able to create a host of applications that sit on top its speech-to-text and text-to-speech engine. Some of these have found its way to the agri-business industry, where companies use Uniphore software to stay in touch with its tobacco farmers, and the aviation industry, where companies use the application to help foreign pilots interact with the Indian air-traffic controllers.

Financial institutions like Axis Bank, according to Uniphore CEO Umesh Sachdev, are also interested in exploring ways of speech recognition to better engage with their customers. “We’re also currently in talks with a number of private Indian banks, who are interested in a bank-specific virtual assistant application,” Mr. Sachdev told this correspondent on Tuesday.

The digital assistant software, which is modelled to a certain extent after iPhone-maker Apple’s virtual assistant Siri, has already been implemented by Uniphore for a top private U.A.E bank.

The digital assistant allows users to voice specific instructions instead of having them remember complex passwords and go through long banking procedures. “The bank in U.A.E uses it as a perk for its high networth individuals. For instance, those individuals could ask the assistant to help them constantly monitor prices of stock and have them sell or buy on command,” Mr. Sachdev added.

Uniphonre, which is looking to raise venture capital funding to further expand into geographical areas like the Middle East and Africa, operates on a ‘software-as-a-service’ model, and, therefore, enjoys recurring revenue.

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