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British financial institution RBS hires ‘digital human’ Cora on probation

LONDON (Reuters) – A life-like avatar known as Cora is being put by way of her paces by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L), serving to clients with primary queries and giving its digital banking drive a extra human face.

RBS, which not too long ago axed 1 / 4 of its branches and has introduced hundreds of job cuts prior to now yr alone because it reduces prices, will solely deploy Cora to NatWest clients if the financial institution’s feminine avatar passes her probation interval.

The digital teller, who wears a NatWest branded uniform and has an ear piercing and glowing tooth, solutions easy questions on getting a mortgage or what to do if a buyer loses their card.

“It could create another way for our customers to bank with us on top of the usual services we offer and be used to help answer questions round the clock, whilst cutting queuing times,” Kevin Hanley, director of innovation at NatWest, mentioned.

Cora, which is present process superior testing as a part of a pilot program at RBS, may even be used to coach members of employees, Hanley mentioned on Wednesday.

The RBS experiment is the most recent by an business making an attempt to adapt to altering buyer habits, fast technological change and the menace posed by new entrants.

Initiatives vary from now-commonplace chatbots or putting in tablets in branches to bolder forays into the long run, akin to robotic door employees. Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan mentioned final yr robots may change 48,000 of the financial institution’s human staff, who have been too error-prone and inefficient.

NatWest mentioned its prototype, which might have a two-way verbal dialog with clients through computer systems, tablets or cell phones and study from errors, may enhance effectivity and supply one other channel for patrons to get assist.

Cora may liberate human colleagues to take care of extra complicated points, the financial institution continued, including that testing has instructed clients who have prevented digital providers is perhaps extra inclined to work together with a “digital human”.

Reporting by Emma Rumney; enhancing by Alexander Smith

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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