HSBC, the financial-services giant, believes the future of retail banking is four feet tall, has two eyes, six laser sensors, and can tell shoppers about credit cards and checking accounts in 15 different languages.

Pepper – a robot created by SoftBank Robotics – was introduced into HSBC’s flagship branch at 426 Fifth Avenue in New York on 26th June 2018. And Jeremy Balkin, head/innovation for the banking group in the United States, suggested this automaton represents a powerful step forward in the largely inert banking sector.

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Jeremy Balkin, head/innovation, HSBC

“Banks, certainly at physical retail, are going through some of the challenges that all retail is going through. Except banks aren’t really doing anything to make the interactive experience anything that’s even remotely wanted, or exciting, or gamified, or pleasant or, frankly, inviting,” he said at FUSE Unfiltered, a conference held in New York by KNect365.