Few banks are disclosing the number of AI users that engage with their chatbots. Why? Bank of America reported about 20 million or about 30% of their customers arere using ERICA – their chatbot. ERICA has been in use for about 4 years, So, Foresight Research wondered about consumer resistance to AI and chatbots and surveyed 400 consumers of banking products and services to find out the resistance to AI in 10 Southeast and Midwest markets.
To start with, about 80% of all consumers are comfortable with asking banking questions or gathering advice on investments, loans, or retirement planning in-person. But when asked about call center text message engagement that number drops to almost 2 of 3 customers. For chatbots or AI a low 42% of consumers are comfortable using this technology for routine questions. For gathering information or for asking for advice on loans, retirement planning or investments only 37% would be comfortable using AI. While chatbots are still in their infancy, it seems that consumer adoption will take a lot of time. Not surprisingly, younger consumers are more comfortable with this technology and when it comes to Gen X or Baby Boomers a tall task can be expected. Foresight found one surprise – Fintech customers are only slightly more accepting of AI. Foresight found another surprise – high income consumers are more likely to become comfortable perhaps because they have more need – especially for advanced applications. Of course, advanced chatbots are not yet available, but expanding technology is just one issue – another is consumer adoption.
In addition to younger and high- income consumers, there are a few small rays of light. One area is satisfaction with their primary financial institution. Consumers who are extremely or very satisfied with their bank’s performance in problem solving, offering financial advice, and digital banking are more likely to express comfort with routine AI and advanced AI applications. So, the overall customer experience seems to be an important prerequisite to automated banking adoption.
Foresight Research (a Michigan marketing research company) and a leader in cost effective syndicated market research has been working with Fortune 500 companies for over 20 years. Visit our website, shoot us an or give us a call to find out more about this report and other available reports.