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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17 Ridiculous Tweets About How to Spend Your Money

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Money is wonderful. And terrible. And exciting and exhausting and confusing and pretty much any emotion you can possibly feel. When you think about it that way, it’s not surprising we make mistakes with our money, put off decisions we know we should make or wish we could just have someone else deal with our finances every once in a while.

Twitter is a fantastic reflection of people’s complicated relationship with money. Like when we know buying something doesn’t make a lot of sense but we get it anyway:

Or want other people to justify our spending habits:

There are a lot of hilarious and ridiculous things people tweet about money, and even when it’s not serious, it’s relatable. For example, we’ve all had this feeling:

And definitely had this realization:

But that doesn’t stop us from doing things like this:

Or ignoring our instincts:

Or flat-out making decisions we know make no sense:

But it’s not just you:

Peer pressure, man:

It’s not like you don’t try to make good decisions and be responsible:

But there’s always something else you could do with your budget:

Plus, choosing between needs and wants can be really confusing:

(Brake. Drake. So close.)

It’s like money and logic are in a constant competition:

And of course, food complicates everything:

(Yes. If pizza is the question, the answer is always yes.)

In all seriousness, figuring out your finances and knowing when to save while still having fun can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. What’ll really be frustrating is if you end up dealing with debt or bad credit because you made a lot of bad financial decisions. The good news is, with most money problems, you can find a way to recover. You can learn about how to improve your credit here, and you can track your financial goals, like your credit scores, for free on Credit.com.

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Image: Vesna Andjic

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