HSBC Brings the ‘Branch of the Future’ to the Emerald City
HSBC Bank USA, N.A., (HSBC), part of HSBC Group, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations, and SoftBank Robotics America (SBRA), the North American arm of SoftBank Robotics Group, announced the launch of Pepper, the engaging, social humanoid robot, in its Seattle branch.
“Seattle is one of the two top tech markets in the nation making it a natural landing pad for us to launch Pepper in the Pacific Northwest”
“Seattle is one of the two top tech markets in the nation making it a natural landing pad for us to launch Pepper in the Pacific Northwest,” said Pablo Sanchez, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for HSBC in the US and Canada. “We changed the branch banking experience of our customers when we piloted Pepper in the center of Manhattan and we’re excited to bring that same experience to our customers here in Washington State. Pepper will allow bank staff to have deeper, more high-value customer engagements, by encouraging and educating consumers on basic product information, the availability of self-service banking options and by asking some initial questions to determine a customer’s banking needs.”
Last year, HSBC became the first financial institution in the United States to bring SoftBank Robotics’ humanoid robot, Pepper, to retail banking. Since then, the bank has reported a significant increase in branch activity, including an increase in ATM transaction volumes and new credit card applications, as well as an overall increase in all new business and products and more than 14,000 total customer interactions with Pepper.
“The digital banking experience is transforming as quickly as the smartphone revolution took off,” said Jeremy Balkin, Head of Innovation at HSBC. “Pepper’s rollout is part of a larger vision to transform HSBC’s branch banking experience, we like to call it the ‘Branch of the Future,’ by providing a host of consumer-facing upgrades that will take the franchise in an exciting new direction. By creating these revolutionary new types of digitally enhanced retail banking experiences that use data intelligence and leading edge robotics, HSBC is transforming the everyday task of a branch visit into a memorable and extraordinary experience.”
Some key features of Pepper’s Seattle rollout include:
- Notify a banker – Pepper will communicate directly with bank staff based on customers’ answers to qualifying questions. HSBC’s goal is to reduce customer waiting time and free up the valuable time of their skilled bankers to deliver a more personalized service.
- Tutorials and instructions – As HSBC rolls out bank branches of the future, customers need to be kept up-to-date on the latest banking technologies, products and services. Pepper provides information on ATMs, the HSBC Mobile Banking app, self-service options, customer support and more. By educating and encouraging the use of technical tools and platforms available to HSBC customers, bank staff will have deeper, more meaningful customer engagements.
- Products and services – Pepper will be used to drive attention to and awareness of HSBC products and services, including special promotions, so that customers can be better informed, facilitating more productive interactions with HSBC Relationship Managers.
- #PoseWithPepper – Pepper is all about making the retail banking experience fun and enjoyable for customers. HSBC launched a campaign to visit Pepper and #PoseWithPepper for a selfie. Customers and visitors are encouraged to upload their photos to their favorite social media channels using the hashtags #MeetPepper and #PoseWithPepper.
“As we’ve already seen in the Fifth Avenue and Beverly Hills branches, Pepper provides services that truly elevate the retail banking experience for both visitors and staff,” said Kass Dawson, Global Head of Marketing Communications, SoftBank Robotics America. “Seattle, as a major innovation hub, is a natural fit for this unique banking experience that is enriched by human-robot interactions.”