How Banks Are Using Robotics to Enhance Customer Experience

September 11, 2019
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Author: Tyran Saffold Jr

Last year, humanoid robotics generated $8 billion in global revenue. By 2020, it is predicted to reach $47 billion and by 2024, the market is expected to grow by 40 percent. Mark Cuban, popular investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, believes that the industry will make way for the world’s “first trillionaires.”

Robotics in the Banking Industry

The Banking Industry

Customer service can make or break a financial institution, so anything that can advance production and increase customer experience is generally welcomed with open arms. This explains why the industry is ready to sink its teeth into the monetary and streamlined advancements that robotics can provide. By the looks of it, they already have. Most banks are already utilizing familiar AI applications like Alexa and Siri to assist customers with transfering money, paying bills and checking balances. The next step in robot adaption is imminent.

Robotics and Technological Advances

HSBC is the first to employ humanoid robots in a U.S. bank branch. One of their first robots, affectionately called, “Pepper," is currently being used as a receptionist at several offices. It can identify visitors with the use of facial recognition, send alerts for meetings and arrange for drinks to be made. Not a far cry from what Alexa or Siri can do at the sound of your voice. HSBC has plans to roll more humanoid robots out to its 228 U.S. branches.

Additionally, the bank intends to gradually increase Pepper’s capabilities and allow customers to complete product applications while using the tablet positioned on its chest. The company has spent nearly $131 million on robots and other technological upgrades, including voice identification and new digital banking apps.

The new robots, much more advanced than their ATM predecessors, are expected to reduce wait time at branches and increase customer awareness of HSBC products or services. The bank's efforts are expected to draw more business at a time when banking online seems to be the way to go.

The Outcome

The continuos adaption of robotics carries the potential for net gain on both the front and back end of businesses. Cutting labor costs, while generating more revenue, is a net gain for every CEO.

“This is going to drive more people into the door,” said Pablo Sanchez, HSBC’s head of retail banking and wealth management for North America. “But once they’re in, it has to go beyond the gimmick. If it’s just people taking selfies, in two weeks that’ll be over. So, we wanted to make sure it could do some valuable things for our customers, educate them on our products and be able to point them in the right direction.”

The banking industry seems to be leading the way to a future where humanoid robotics will become mainstream.