Canada: ATB Financial to use robot assistants in branch

Canada will set to see its first robot bank workers, with ATB Financial launching robot assistants in some of its Calgary branches in May. The bank, in conjunction with SoftBank Robotics America (SBRA) and Infusion, specialist in digital transformation in financial services, will introduce ‘Pepper’ in a bid to transform and enhance the customer service experience in the branch.

Pepper, the humanoid robot, will be able to interact with ATB customers via speech or the touchscreen tablet it carries and will provide recommendations on the bank’s products and services. Pepper will also introduce an element of fun to the banking experience, offering customers the chance to quiz themselves on their financial literacy, take selfies or dance with the robot.

RFi Group Canada Digital Banking Council data from the beginning of 2017 suggests that there is still a way to go for consumers to feel comfortable with ‘robo-advice’, where advice is delivered by a computer instead of a human financial adviser, with only 20% currently seeing themselves using this type of service for financial advice, rising to 25% amongst millennials.

The initiative will test how comfortable consumers are interacting with robots, with the bank hoping to continually develop the functionality of the robot assistant to continually improve the digital experience. RFi Group Canada Digital Banking Council data from the beginning of 2017 suggests that there is still a way to go for consumers to feel comfortable with ‘robo-advice’, where advice is delivered by a computer instead of a human financial adviser, with only 20% currently seeing themselves using this type of service for financial advice, rising to 25% amongst millennials.

Image source (header): REUTERS

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