Consumers prepared to abandon bankers for robots

By Andrew Rickard | July 04 2016 10:12AM

A recent survey has found that many Canadians would be happy to bypass humans and receive computer-generated advice and services from their bank.

In a report published last week, consulting firm Accenture revealed that Canadian consumers would welcome robo-advice from banks to help them determine how to allocate their investments (77%), what type of bank account to open (76%), and plan for retirement (70%).

Speed and convenience

Asked why they would consider relying on computerized advice, 50% of the Canadian respondents said that speed and convenience were their primary motivators, while 33% cited lower costs as the main benefits. Those most interested in robo-services were millennials and mass-affluent consumers (the latter being defined as those earning over $100,000 in annual income).

What's more, 77% of Canadians described their relationship with their bank as "purely transactional" and 41% of the respondents said the main reason they stay loyal to their bank is because it offers discounts on purchases. Overall, 23% of Canadians say they would consider switching to a branchless bank, which is 8% higher than reported in last year's survey.

Simplifying the customer experience

"Robo-advice is gaining significant traction in the wealth management industry in Canada, and our research shows that consumers are open to working with robo-advisors for their retail banking needs," says Bob Vokes, managing director of Accenture's Canadian financial services practice. "Consumers are excited about the potential savings and accuracy that robo-advice offers. We are now seeing leading financial services players starting to embrace intelligent automation and robotics to simplify and improve the customer experience."