We’ve been trusting robots to manage money more than we “trust” ourselves, according to a recent study from Oracle and personal finance specialist Farnoosh Torabi. The global survey of over 9,000 individuals across 14 different countries revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has “increased finance-related stress at home and in business, and people around the world are looking to AI for help.”
The Oracle study found that financial anxiety and sadness among individual consumers and business owners or leaders “more than doubled (increased by 103%) in 2020.” Notably, the study revealed that 67% of people “trust robots more than humans to manage finance.”
Around 85% of survey respondents “believe robots will replace finance professionals and 46% believe it will happen in the next five years.” Around 85% of business leaders “want help from robots for finance-related tasks.”
People are also “rethinking the role and focus of corporate finance teams and personal financial advisors,” according to the research.
Other notable results from the survey include:
- Consumers want personal financial advisors “to provide guidance on major purchasing decisions such as buying a house (45%); buying a car (41%); and planning for retirement (38 percent).”
- 60% of consumers “say the pandemic has changed the way they buy goods and services.”
- 72% of consumers “say the events of 2020 have changed how they feel about handling cash, with people feeling anxious (26%); fearful (23%); and dirty (19%). More than a quarter (29%) of consumers now say that cash-only is a deal-breaker for doing business”.
- Businesses have been “quick to respond as 69% of business leaders have invested in digital payment capabilities and 64% have created new forms of customer engagement or changed their business models in response to COVID-19”.
- 51% of organizations are “already using AI to manage financial processes, compared with 27% of consumers”.
- 87% of business leaders “say organizations that don’t rethink financial processes face risks, including falling behind competitors (44%); more stressed workers (36%); inaccurate reporting (36%); and reduced employee productivity (35%)”.
As noted in the update shared with CI, managing finances can be challenging during the best of times, and the financial “uncertainty” due to the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated financial challenges at home and at work, according to Farnoosh Torabi, personal finance expert and host of the So Money podcast.
“Robots are well-positioned to assist – they are great with numbers and don’t have the same emotional connection with money. This doesn’t mean finance professionals are going away or being replaced entirely, but the research suggests they should focus on developing additional soft skills as their role evolves.”
Research findings are “based on a survey conducted by Savanta, Inc. between November 10 – December 8, 2020 with 9,001 global respondents from 14 countries (United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, France, China, India, Australia, Brazil, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Mexico and Saudi Arabia)”. The survey “explored attitudes and behaviors of consumers and business leaders towards money, finances, budgets, and the role and expectations of artificial intelligence (AI) and robots in financial tasks and management.”
Juergen Lindner, SVP, Global Marketing, Oracle, remarked:
“Financial processes in our personal and professional worlds have become increasingly digital for many years and the events of 2020 have accelerated that trend. Digital is the new normal and technologies such as artificial intelligence and chatbots play a vital role in managing finance. Our research indicates that consumers trust these technologies to accelerate their financial well-being over personal financial advisors and business leaders see this trend reshaping the role of corporate finance professionals. Organizations that don’t embrace these changes risk falling behind their peers and competitors; hurting employee productivity, morale and well-being; and struggling to attract the next generation of AI-empowered finance talent.”