ING welcomes Pepper the robot to Amsterdam HQ

ING welcomes Pepper the robot to Amsterdam HQ

Dutch bank ING welcomed a special guest to its headquarters this week: Pepper, a humanoid robot who may herald the beginning of an AI-driven future for banking services.

Created by Japanese group Softbank, Pepper has already made its debut at the flagship Tokyo branch of Mizuho. The bank hired the 48-inch humanoid last summer to entertain customers with games and multimedia and provide basic information on products.

More recently, Softbank announced that Pepper will start taking orders and payments in some Pizza Hut Asia restaurants by the end of the year thanks to an app built by the MasterCard Labs team in Singapore.

Intrigued by the prospect of a robotic future, ING’s robotics and artificial intelligence lead Vinoth Raman, invited Pepper for a tour of the bank's headquarters in Amsterdam. He made quite an impression:

Comments: (3)

Shanthi Narayan
Shanthi Narayan - Lera Technologies - Hyderabad 08 September, 2016, 11:21Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Robots are definitely helpful to takeover monotonous tasks such that the branch employees could focus on relationship building and much more complex advisory functions at the Branch. However, robots for Customer greeting is not fair for the Customers walking into the branch. It maybe amusing in the initial stages but not having that personal touch and been treated like machines is not amusing in the long term.

Hitesh Thakkar
Hitesh Thakkar - SME - Fintech startups (APAC and Africa) - India 12 September, 2016, 13:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If humans are use to ATM, Kiosks, Smartphone/mobile banking and wallets as well as interactive games like Pokeman GO, why not explore it for routine process to start with.

If you add Face recognistion, Finger print/vein authentication cascaded with AI and machine learning it can be smart guy talking to you about financial advice - I love them to do it rather than mundane task of Pizza order and delivery :)

Norton anti virus site is best example where Auto agent comes online for help and solves most of common problems and then transfer the chat session to live agents in case customer is not happy.

Ofcourse, like any other automation, humans can override.

Side note: Tesla cars are best example of mass adoption with less resistance ofcourse it needed more intelligence but Tesla has started Auto Update recently to ensure learning goes to all cards on street.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 13 September, 2016, 19:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I've interacted with bots that exhibited greater intelligence than some human operators. And this was in 2010 when I wrote a couple of blog posts describing my experience with both types of agents used by banks, councils and airlines: How Humanlike Are Virtual Agents? (hyperlink removed to comply with Finextra Community Rules but this post will appear on top of Google Search results when searched by the title). In the subsequent six years, I'm sure bots have become even more intelligent.