Pepper the robot has a new gig at HSBC’s New York City flagship store.
The customer engagement robot won’t be a teller, but instead will have job responsibilities such as “streamline branch operations and delight our customers,” HSBC’s Pablo Sanchez said in a press release announcing Pepper’s new position.
You may have already bumped into Pepper, a humanoid robot created by Softbank Robotics, at one of the robot’s other jobs. Pepper has found work at places like shopping malls and airports, mostly acting as a greeter of sorts to answer guest questions or help them navigate. Pepper is also available for selfies with guests and will even pose for a shot.
HSBC confirms selfies are also an option for bank patrons in its “branch of the future.” Beyond being a photo app, the robot will also free up bank staff to have deeper conversations when customers when they do reach that human.
“With Pepper at HSBC Bank’s flagship retail branch, we’re marking several noteworthy firsts: Pepper’s first deployment at a retail bank in the United States, Pepper’s first opportunity to help customers in New York City, and the first time a robot will be engaging in conversational interactions with banking customers,” said Steve Carlin, chief strategy officer at SoftBank Robotics. “Humanoid robots helping people and working alongside human coworkers is an idea no longer relegated to the realm of popular culture and science fiction. Pepper will bring real benefits to HSBC banking customers.”
Pepper is just the beginning of HSBC’s plans. The bank says its “part of a larger vision being rolled out in the coming months that will transform HSBC’s branch banking experience.”