Robot heart surgeons are more trusted than robot bankers

By Teamspirit on Tuesday, 23 May 2017

HSBC has released new research that shows people are two times as likely to trust a robot to perform heart surgery on them than to open a savings account for them.

The survey – coming shortly after HSBC’s voice recognition technology was hacked by a BBC journalist and his twin brother – revealed that people still don’t fully trust technology when it comes to looking after their money.

While 80% of people surveyed felt that technology general makes their lives easier, only 46% trust fingerprint recognition, for example, despite evidence that it is five times more secure and more convenient than traditional passwords.

It’s worth noting that the survey of 12,000 people spanned 11 countries, so includes markets that haven’t embraced technology in financial services as much as the UK.

However, the survey’s findings do support those of other FS providers. Nationwide recently announced that 40% of its customers would still prefer to discuss mortgages face-to-face than go online and search for the best deal, suggesting there may be a demographic element to these trust issues as well.

That people would prefer a robot to operate on them rather than perform a relatively simple banking task is a surprising finding, particularly for an industry that is increasingly relying on automation to deliver services.

It also implies that the industry generally has a long way to go to shed perceptions of technology being used to distance consumers rather than engage and help them.

Hopefully attitudes will continue to evolve as FS brands keep funnelling resources into user-centric technology and education and engagement programmes.

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