Would You Take Money Advice From a Robot? (They’re Here…)

We already let machines do our chores, but how would we feel about letting one tell us what to do with our hard-earned money?

Turns out, almost half of North American consumers are fine with the idea of passing up bank tellers to take financial advice from a robot.

At least that’s what a recent survey from consulting firm Accenture shows.

Taking Advice From a Robot

According to the report, “robo-advice is the use of automation and digital banking techniques to assist customers with their financial needs.” And, based on this definition, 46% of respondents said they are willing to bank and receive financial recommendations using robo-advice.

The three main areas consumers said they’d be willing to ask a robot for guidance on are investments and asset allocation (79%), types of bank accounts to open (74%) and retirement planning (69%). Half of the consumers cited speed and convenience as the primary benefit of using computer-generated advice, with only 29% noting that it would likely come at a lower cost.

But that doesn’t mean these consumers wouldn’t visit their local bank branch to speak with a teller. In fact, 87% of those surveyed said they will still use the branches, as they seek out the human interaction they get there. And almost half (47%) of the consumers said they anticipate using their local banking branches 2 years from now because they “receive more value” when speaking with someone in person.

Methodology  

Market Knowledge Online, on behalf of Accenture, surveyed more than 4,000 adult consumers in the United States and Canada from March 17 to March 25, 2016. The margin of error from this survey is plus or minus 1.55 percentage points at the midpoint of the 95% confidence level.

Your Data, Your Finances

The survey found that, in order to receive better and more customized service from their bank, 63% of consumers are willing to give banks direct access to their personal data (including information about their mortgage, student loans and credit cards). Remember, no matter who you give access to your personal data (be it a robot or a sentient being), you want to make sure to monitor your financial accounts regularly. Data breaches have become increasingly prevalent in recent years and you’ll want to spot fraud as soon as possible to protect your finances.

It’s also a good idea to monitor your credit and look for any unfamiliar accounts opened in your name or a sudden drop in your credit scores, both of which could be signs your identity has been stolen. (You can see your free credit report summary, updated each month, on Credit.com.)

Would you take financial advice from a robot? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Image: Menno van Dijk

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