HSBC hires Pepper the robot

HSBC hires Pepper the robot

HSBC is hiring a small army of four-foot-tall robots at its flagship branch on Fifth Avenue in downtown Manhattan.

The bank has ordered seven of the humanoids, which go by the name Pepper, from Japanese group Softbank and is putting them to work in the branch's lobby.

Pepper, which has a tablet strapped to its chest, will greet customers and offer information on ATMs, the HSBC app, self-service options, customer support, and products and services. When customers have more complicated needs, the humanoid will notify its human colleagues.

While insisting that Pepper will serve a serious purpose, helping to free up staff to concentrate on delivering more personalised services, HSBC is not shying away from the robot's novelty factor.

With millions of people walking past the Fifth Avenue branch every day, the bank is looking to gain attention through a #PoseWithPepper social media campaign, inviting passersby to take a selfie with the newest staffer and post it on Instagram, Twitter and elsewhere.

Pablo Sanchez, regional head, retail banking and wealth management, US and Canada, HSBC, says: "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."

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