We all have used special software, chatbots and apps in the banking sector
However, in the near future we’ll have to get used to one more thing – robots in banks. They can work 24/7 and perform many more tasks than a human being. A robot will never ask its superior for the day off, a special allowance, or promotion.
While some banks only dream about such super-employees, others willingly hire them.
Pepper is probably the most popular robot in the banking industry. The robot is able to recognise human emotion and adjust to it. Pepper’s developer SoftBank uses this robot in 140 stores in Japan. Pepper also works in restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and stores all around the world.
Mizuho was the first company to offer Pepper a job. It happened in 2015, and was the first time a robot had been hired at a bank. Since then, Pepper has been recruited in the banks of Canada (ATB Financial), UAE (Emirates NBD), RSA (Nedbank) and many others. Recently, Pepper has been hired in New York (HSBC head office). His specific duties included informing clients of services (in various languages), self-serve advising, and giving answers to the basic questions. By the way, Pepper can also pose for a selfie with clients and offer them a financial literacy quiz.
It is also one of SoftBank Robotics inventions. Humanoid robot NAO is Pepper’s elder brother, and was invented in 2006. To date, more than 10,000 NAO robots have been sold. NAO’s height is just 58 cm.
NAO is a customisable robot due to special Choregraphe software. Thus, it can be endowed with different features of character, knowledge, skills, and multiple interactive options.
NAO works in educational institutions, stores, households, and different companies. But what makes Softbanks Robotics really proud of its brainchild is that NAO was hired in Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which is one of the biggest Japanese banks. The robot knows Japanese, English and Chinese, and it helps clients to handle different questions. As a bonus, the robot is a wonderful dancer, which can even pose for photos.
Xiao Long (Little Dragon), is a robot that works in the world’s first fully automated China Construction Bank branch in Shanghai. What’s more, you’ll not find any human employee in this branch, because only robots work there. Robots use facial recognition technology, VR, and AI.
During a client’s first visit, his/her ID is scanned and then (s)he receives a number in line. The next time a client visits a bank, he will be authenticated with the facial recognition technology.
Robots can communicate with visitors and answer all their questions. They are endowed with embedded smart ATMs, which allow users to open accounts, carry out money transfers, and perform some asset management.
Clients can find QR codes on the screens. They help users to pay for services. Users can even play AR games on these screens.
If a client needs to talk to an actual live bank worker, (s)he can use a particular separate video chat room.
Indian HDFC bank has developed its own robot. The first IRA (Interactive Robotic Assistant) version was developed jointly with Asimov Robotics AI experts, while the second version (2.0) was launched in cooperation with Invento Makerspaces and Senseforth Technologies.
HDFC was the first Indian bank to offer the robot a job.
IRA’s main challenge is to improve the comfort and effectiveness of customer service. IRA can interact with bank branch visitors, answer their questions related to the banking sector, answer FAQ, and help customers to navigate a bank’s branch. It is possible due to the embedded GPS and speech recognition unit. Moreover, this robot uses an ultrasonic sensor to navigate the office and a system (similar to FaceID) for the facial recognition.
Jiaojiao is a Chinese humanoid robot with a rectangular face and a big smile. Its height is 90 cm. China’s Bank of Communications has hired Jiaojiao to be a lobby manager. It is its responsibility to welcome clients, answer their questions and requests, and serve as a voice service. Furthermore, it can give information about the nearest tourist attractions, schedules of public transport, etc. In addition to this, Jiaojiao is a good singer. If it sees children, he can sing popular Chinese kids songs.
The robot is focused on the automated analysis of natural language and human voice analysis. It can process and memorise clients’ voices. This helps to authenticate clients. It also recognises the gender and age of a client and adjusts its behaviour based on this data.
Jiaojiao was developed in 2015 by Nanjing University jointly with the Electronic Information Technology Corporation, and a consortium made up of Chinese major tech companies.
China’s Bank of Communications believes that this cute robot relieves tension in peak hours by entertaining their clients.
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