According to the South China Morning Post walking through the front door at the Jiujiang Road branch, users are met by a friendly looking humanoid that answers questions using voice recognition. Using the branch is certainly surreal. First time visitors have their ID card scanned before gaining access. Customers are then offered a queue number by the robo-assistant. On subsequent visits, face recognition will be enough for the system to access customer information.
A BANK HAS OPENED A BRANCH RUN ENTIRELY BY ROBOTS, WHO GREET CUSTOMERS AND MANAGE ACCOUNTS, IN A WORLD FIRST.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: When I was a kid, Dick Tracy talking on his interactive wrist watch and robots integrated into society was considered so far into the future that it wouldn’t happen in our lifetime. Well…the Apple Watch, which does so much more than Dick Tracy’s watch ever dreamed of, is now nearly 4 years old, and robot technology and AI is absolutely everywhere. Now a bank in China has become the world’s first to use nothing but humanoids and robots to wait on customers. As technology advances, it’s becoming easier and easier to picture the vast majority of people having no issue at all doing all their buying and selling via an implantable chip. Good thing the Rapture of the Church comes first…
The Shanghai branch of the China Construction Bank (CCB) is run purely by technology – with virtual reality, artificial intelligence and facial recognition all playing a part. CCB, which is China’s second biggest bank, already has 360 branches across the city, with smart machines appealing to its tech-savvy customers and slashing of staff costs making it a winner for bank bosses.
According to the South China Morning Post walking through the front door at the Jiujiang Road branch, users are met by a friendly looking humanoid that answers questions using voice recognition.
Hyped as a first for the Chinese banking industry, the Beijing-based bank says it has already installed 1,600 smart machines at its 360 branches in the city to ramp up its appeal to tech-savvy customers and trim staff costs.
The 165 square metre ground floor outlet on Jiujiang Road in Huangpu district is equipped with several smart automated tellers capable of a range of services, including account opening, money transfer, foreign exchange, gold investment and the issue of wealth management products.
Using the branch is certainly surreal. First time visitors have their ID card scanned before gaining access. Customers are then offered a queue number by the robo-assistant. On subsequent visits, face recognition will be enough for the system to access customer information.
Users will then be met by a second robot in the lobby, which can answer further inquiries. Real humans are ready to offer a helping hand if the artificial assistants can’t solve complicated demands.
Quick response code points – those black bar codes, best known as QR codes – are available on screens for consumers to pay for products and services, or engage in small interactive augmented reality games to make the experience more of an occasion rather than just branch visit. A virtual reality machine is also available to showcase CCB’s latest home rental offerings.
He Fei, a senior researcher at Bank of Communications in Shanghai, said the unstaffed branch will act as a good test ground to garner customer opinion.