Robot Pepper to help Taiwan banks

Reported by: |Updated: July 26, 2016

pepper robotA humanoid robot called Pepper, which is serving Pizza Hut locations in Asia, may soon be visible across banks and shops in Taiwan. Pepper has already entered into partnership with Honda’s robot Asimo to sell insurance across Japan. Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance said it is deploying over 100 Pepper robots across 80 of its branches in Japan to help in the sales floor. Now about 100 such bots will make their way to Taiwan, which is set to become the next biggest market outside Japan to launch Pepper. However, the robot may not be immediately available to sell products in Taiwan, which like many other markets, has yet to widely adopt human-like robots as part of a regular lifestyle. Foxconn unit Perobot, which is in charge of sales and maintenance for Pepper in Taiwan, said Pepper is available for lease in a two-year contract at T$26,888 ($836.67/£637.38) per month. The banking units of First Financial and Taishin along with Taiwanese telecommunication carrier Asia Pacific Telecom are expected to put Pepper into their frontline service to support the basic needs of customers. Pepper went on sale to consumers in Japan in June 2015 and then enterprise customers, who pay for the bot on a three-year rental basis worth around $16,000, the following October. MasterCard announced in May it is teaming up with SoftBanks Robotics and Pizza Hut Asia to launch a new commerce app for the customer service bot. The robot has been installed in two Belgian hospitals already.