Financial robots may not be as popular as companies think

By Moriah Costa on Tuesday 11 July 2017

Alternative LendingSavings and Investment

Survey finds that when it comes to automated technology, financial consumers still prefer a real person.

Survey finds that when it comes to automated technology, financial consumers still prefer a real person.



That robot might not take your job after all.


A recent survey from Legg Mason Asset Management found that 60 per cent of consumers would rather have a live person in charge of their finances instead of than relying on automated technology.


“While it's important for investors to have the best tools available for some parts of the investment decision-making process, it's the personal touch that captures the most interest of investors in the end, and could be the most likely to engender customer loyalty,” the firm wrote.


There was not much of a difference between the younger and older generation either. Around 53 per cent of Millennials agree with the statement that you can not replace good customer service with technology, compared to 65 per cent of Baby Boomers.


People also want to know that there is an expert behind the technology. Around 67 per cent of respondents think "technology is a great tool, but I still want to know there's an expert behind it guiding me."


The global survey also revealed a difference between those in U.S. and Europe and those living in Asia, where some types of mobile technology is more prominent.


Around 76 per cent of investors in the U.S. believe that technology can’t replace in-person customer service, compared to 64 per cent of Europeans and 52 per cent of those in the Asia-Pacific region.


When it comes to specific tasks, the annual survey found that people are less likely to trust technology to set up complicated financial tasks, such as buying a pension. Only 14 per cent of those surveyed used an online service to buy a pension, while 15 per cent had set up a comprehensive financial plan.


Sign up for our newsletters

Your daily 7am download of all things alternative finance and fintech.

Fintech and alternative finance headlines with an exclusive Editor's Note each week. Delivered Monday at midday.

AltFi's new weekly US newsletter breaking down the ins and outs of America's burgeoning fintech sector. Delivered Monday 9am EST/ 6am PST.