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Pepper the robot and banking

During my tenure at ATB I have been leading the user research programs and up to 4 researchers for several vital projects part of ATB’s transformational journey and its commitment to serving Alberta’s rapidly growing tech ecosystem across new mediums.

ATB was the first bank in Canada to introduce Pepper to its customers. Pepper is a 4ft tall robot that speaks, moves and interacts with people. Pepper was designed to be a ‘companion’ robot, and is capable of interpreting a smile, a frown, or tone of voice. She also notices and responds to non-verbal cues, such as the angle of your head, for example.

I conducted a research study to help answer questions the innovation team had about how a robot could be used to inform/instruct people and learn how the customers react to robots associated with the brand in different locations for different Personas. The robot was taken to several locations to run experiments and answer the following questions: 

Does the robot make the brand appealing to businesses?
Does the robot attract people to the brand?
How do customers respond to the robot?
Do people like interacting with Pepper?
Would people take banking advice from a robot?
When would people prefer to interact with a human?
What will prevent people from interacting with the robot?

Results and Outcomes
Our project also uncovered what kinds of interactions customers would be willing to do with a robot, what use cases are best for the brand using this kind of technology, and the locations where a robot like this will meet a need.

Balancing observation with traditional attitudinal methods was critical to understand needs that users cannot always articulate. The methods for this study included:

Ethnographic Observation
Survey Intercepts Design
Post Visit Surveys

Brand Impact among Albertans
UI Experience Design

A logo of a financial institution

ATB Financial


User Research, Experience Design