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Yes Bank Uses RFID to Personalize Service

The Indian bank is issuing RFID-enabled cards to wealthy clients so they can be recognized and promptly served when they enter its branches.
By Claire Swedberg
In the meantime, the client takes a seat and the greeter arrives to welcome that individual by name. The greeter can then tell the customer which employee will serve him or her, or escort that patron to a private, soundproof wealth-management room.

When the customer leaves the bank, the readers again capture the card's ID number, indicating a transaction has been completed. The secondary benefit of this system, Ravishankar says, is business analytics: The bank can evaluate how long customers waited before being selected by someone from the relationship-management team, as well as how long the client took to complete a transaction.

One of the greatest challenges for this application, Mudgal says, was the importance placed on aesthetics. The cameras needed to be discrete, and the interrogators needed to be invisible. They also needed to be able to read the cards' tags through bags and pockets, as well as a laptop computer a client may be carrying. Such error-free reading, he notes, was SkandSoft's goal throughout the deployment.

"A single misread would mean the solution had failed," Mudgal says. Therefore, the team developed a deployment in which the readers can receive transmissions as the cardholders walk past, thanks to Gemini Traze's customized gate antennas hidden in advertising signs installed at the doorway. The antennas provide a read range of approximately 95 centimeters (37 inches)—sufficient to capture a card's ID as it passes through the doorway. "The reader antennae have given us 100 percent reads," he states, "irrespective of whether the card is carried in a wallet, purse, pockets, etc."

Ravishankar says he is happy with the system's performance. "In the wealthy banking segment, there are things you need to do to ensure you have a good relationship with the customer," he explains. "One of the keys is recognition, which is provided by this system." He expects to begin using the system in October with 150 to 200 ID cards, and to then expand the deployment as the technology is installed in additional branches.

The system, which SkandSoft designed for Yes Bank, will also be made available for use in retail stores, Mudgal says. What's more, he adds, SkandSoft is providing an active RFID solution for retailer applications.

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