Forty-six percent of North American bank customers say they’re willing to bank using computer-generated advice and services independent of a human advisor, Accenture reported Wednesday.
Accenture conducted an online poll in March of 4,013 bank customers, 2,803 of whom were based in the U.S. and 1,210 in Canada.
Seventy-nine percent of respondents welcomed robo-advice from banks to determine how to allocate investments, 74% on what type of bank account to open and 69% for retirement planning.
Half of bank customers surveyed cited speed and convenience as the main benefits of robo-advice, and 29% liked the lower costs.
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Accenture reported that millennials and mass affluent consumers expressed the most interest in robo-services.
“It’s well-known that robo-advice is gaining significant traction in the wealth management industry; however, our research shows this trend is also picking up in retail banking,” David Edmondson, senior managing director of Accenture’s North America Banking practice, said in a statement.
“Consumers will continue to dictate how, when and where they want to interact, and banks have an opportunity to use intelligent automation and robotics to simplify and improve the customer experience. Successful banks will strike the right balance between human and machine interaction to elevate their role in customers’ lives beyond simple transactions and become a go-to resource.”
Accenture reported that consumers were increasingly willing to seek out nontraditional banks, closing the gap with those switching to large regional or national institutions.
In the past year, 11% of North American consumers — and 19% of millennials and 18% of mass affluent individuals — switched banks. Thirty-three percent of these joined a nontraditional provider, such as an online-only bank, payments providers, retailer or insurer, and 23% switched to a large regional or national bank.
Among switchers to nontraditional providers, 15% of consumers 55 and older joined an online-only bank, up from just 5% a year earlier. Twenty-seven percent of millennials moved to online-only or payments providers, up from 24% in 2015.
Consumers in the 35-to-54 age group went the other way: 24% moved to online-only or payments providers in 2016, down from 30% last year.