Financial Service Providers and Insurance: Do Customers Accept Artificial Intelligence?
In the financial services and insurance industry, services and products based on artificial intelligence are still seldom seen. This is astonishing considering the benefits that this technology can offer – when they are accepted by customers. But what do consumers require and expect from AI solutions?
In reality, artificial intelligence in the financial services and insurance sector has not been purely a Fintech issue for long a time now. Deutsche Bank, for example, has a robotic financial advisor named Robin, whilst Comdirect customers can digitally manage their money via Cominvest. When AI-based products and services are not advertised as such, however, it is difficult for customers to recognize them. This is according to consulting company Elaboratum’s recent study “Acceptance of Artificial Intelligence in the Financial Services and Insurance Industry.” Almost half of all respondents were unsure whether they had ever used artificial intelligence with their bank or insurance. That is because a well-automated process can already be perceived as an AI service. 34 percent admit to never having used any AI-based products or services with their bank or insurance.
But what do consumers think about AI? 35 percent of respondents view the technology positively; 40 percent have no strong opinion. It is interesting that acceptance visibly increases if customers have already had experiences with AI – or they at least adopt it. Amongst this group, 67 percent view AI positively. For providers, that means it is worth introducing customers to simpler applications of AI at first, such as a chatbot, leaving them more open-minded for more complex products. Young respondents between 18 and 29 and those surveyed with a household income of more than 4,500 euros tend to view AI positively (51 and 48 percent respectively).
One of the reasons given by respondents as to why AI is viewed positively was that technology supports and expands human intelligence, while it can also make life easier in many areas. Reservations they may have stem from a fear of losing control or threats such as unemployment. It is even more important when implementing AI to be aware of the criteria that decide its acceptance amongst consumers.
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Four use cases, six acceptance criteria
With the help of four use cases, the factors important for consumers when using AI were surveyed:
An intelligent FAQ section for insurance, which thanks to Natural Language Understand understands the differently-formulated costumer queries and provides a suitable solution.
An automated audit and processing of motor vehicle insurance losses, whereby the expected costs of repair and the closest authorized workshop are stated.
An automatic portfolio management whereby the AI manages the purchase and sale of security paper by means of individual investment objectives.
A consultant chatbot for banking that, together with the customer, finds the best-suitable credit.
For the first three use cases, data protection, quality and reliability, the availability of an accompanying human point of contact, as well as time and cost savings were named as the most important acceptance criteria. For the chatbot, alongside data protection, quality and reliability, the criteria were security measures, risk warnings, and user friendliness.
But even if these criteria are met, 55 percent of respondents still trust a human more than AI when processing the use cases. Only nine percent prefer the artificial intelligence. However, when consumers have already used AI products or services, they are more open-minded towards the technology. Out of these respondents, 47 percent trust a person more and 16 percent an AI.
Many consumers are still unsure of what AI can currently provide and what opportunities it will offer in the future – above all, if they have not yet had known experiences with it. If they have experienced it, the technology is visibly better rated. It is therefore important that companies simplify their customers’ first use of AI, even perhaps supporting them with it. This way, they can then gradually offer more complex solutions, which make use of the full potential of artificial intelligence – to the benefit of both parties.