NCR introduces the virtual teller

An animated avatar can guide ATM customers through complex transactions and make the self-service transaction a more personalized one, according to NCR Corp. An avatar is the personification of software applications (agents) that perform tasks for the user in response to queries. At the RBC e-Business Symposium in Toronto in October, NCR demonstrated its multi-function Personas 78 ATM and showed how an animated character named Maddy can be used to sign up users to a new service or guide them through new transactions such as depositing cash into the ATM. When a transaction is selected, Maddy talks the user through the process and can be called upon to provide further information should the consumer need it. Users are able to determine how much or how little assistance they require.

Maddy’s image is the result of not only advances in technology, but also consumer research carried out by NCR that looked at clothing, voice, mannerisms and age before coming up with an image it believes consumers would be happy to interact with.

“What you now have is the look and sound of a virtual human and if you get it right, the avatar can be important in terms of branding and differentiating you from the competition,” said Mark Grossi, chief technology officer for NCR’s Financial Solutions Division.

Avatars can also be used to deliver targeted one-to-one marketing at the ATM.