HSBC is a British multinational banking and financial services company. It is the 7th largest bank by total assets in the world and the largest in Europe, as of December 2016. HSBC has recently hit the headlines when introducing a robot staff named Pepper. HSBC will offer its customers a first look about a smart bank branch of the future.
Pepper has become a full-time employee at HSBC Bank in Manhattan, the US. This robot is a product manufactured by Japanese giant Softbank, in collaboration with the French robot maker Aldebaran SAS. This robot is 3.93 feet tall and capable of identifying the face and emotions of the customers, as well as responding with voice or printed text on the tablet in front of the belly. The bank can program the robot to create a unique experience for its customers.
According to an HSBC representative, although Pepper is smart enough to do some tasks, it still has a drawback. The limitation lies in robotic technology, which does not allow Pepper to perform complex operations. Pepper’s mission at the bank is to provide information on HSBC’s financial products and services, as well as guide users on mobile banking applications by offering prompt support in case of necessity. In addition, Pepper will ask customers some questions and pass their request to the right departments of the bank. Furthermore, as HSBC shared, this smart robot is always ready to take a selfie photo with customers. Pepper also knows how to tell jokes and dance to cheer customers, if bankers are not available.
The appearance of Pepper can be fun for the first time, but maintaining that interactive habit is a big challenge for HSBC. It is likely that when people lose their curiosity about the appearance of Pepper, the robot will soon be felt into oblivion. For example, in Japan, the hometown of robot, almost everyone does not care about Pepper and how it will look like in the store. Most people only consider Pepper as a mobile signage. However, the robot technology has increasingly developed day by day, people can expect a future when the robot will be more skillful and able to do more than just a signage.
Mr. Pablo Sanchez, from HSBC, is confident that Pepper will provide its customers with a never-seen-before service experience. HSBC is looking forward to being a bank of the future, and the presence of Pepper will significantly help the bank’s operations more effective. What’s more, the robot will bring about more happiness for customers and bank employees to better interaction.
Since its first production in 2015, the Pepper robot has appeared in many different companies and has covered various tasks. In addition to welcoming customers at convenience stores and airports, this friendly robot even undertakes the tasks of a Buddhist monk.
HSBC is proud that it is the first bank in the United States to apply robotic technology to its service, and hopes to bring Pepper to other bank branches within the next few months.