WOW! I don’t know whether to laugh, be scared, afraid or just amazed. British bank RBS has closed a quarter of its branches, laid off thousands of people (real people) only to have “hired” Cora. So WHO is Cora? She is an VERY life-like avatar who(?) is on “probation” helping customers with basic questions about accounts. BUT, if “she” (?) passes muster there will be lots of Coras coming soon. And, with more training “she”(?) can work “her”(?) way up to more advanced jobs. Scary? Yes because “she”(?) looks so……real (cute too…..don’t sue me). So guys, if you meet Cora in a bar and “she”(?) says “she’s”(?) in banking……….RUN. It ain’t what you think.
(Bill Taylor/Managing Editor)
“RBS, which recently axed a quarter of its branches and has announced thousands of job cuts in the past year alone as it reduces costs, will only deploy Cora to NatWest customers if the bank’s female avatar passes her probation period.
The digital teller, who wears a NatWest branded uniform and has an ear piercing and sparkling teeth, answers simple questions on getting a mortgage or what to do if a customer 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, said.
Cora, which is undergoing advanced testing as part of a pilot program at RBS, could even be used to train members of staff, Hanley said on Wednesday.
The RBS experiment is the latest by an industry trying to adapt to changing customer behavior, rapid technological change and the threat posed by new entrants.
Initiatives range from now-commonplace chatbots or installing tablets in branches to bolder forays into the future, such as robot door staff. Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan said last year robots could replace 48,000 of the bank’s human employees, who were too error-prone and inefficient…”