Years ago, science fiction showed us a future where robots take over basic tasks in everyday life. Technology has made enormous strides since then — so where are our robots?
Well, one can be found at HSBC’s Fifth Avenue branch in New York.
The robot can be found near the entrance to the branch, ready to answer questions and free up time for banking staff.
It’s the first time a robot will be engaging in conversational interactions with banking customers, according to Steve Carlin, chief strategy officer at SoftBank Robotics America.
“Humanoid robots helping people and working alongside human coworkers is an idea no longer relegated to the realm of popular culture and science fiction,” he said.
Pepper asks customers some initial questions to determine how best to meet their banking needs. Based on the answers given, the robot can contact bank staff to deal with more complex questions.
It also provides information on ATMs, the HSBC mobile banking app, self-service options and customer support, and will be used to drive awareness of the bank’s products and services, including special promotions.
The robot can even answer questions about the weather and give directions to the nearest pizza shop, Business Insider reports.
HSBC hopes that Pepper will reduce waiting times in the branch and improve customer experience.
“We’re focused on developing the ‘branch of the future’, and our use of Pepper will streamline branch operations and delight our customers, allowing bank staff to have deeper, more high-value customer engagements,” said Pablo Sanchez, regional head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for HSBC in the US and Canada.