Insurance carriers looking to embrace or enhance their ability to provide customers computer-generated advice and services should know that most consumers globally approve of the practice. But they still want human interaction for complaints and more complex advice, Accenture found in a new survey.

About 7 in 10 consumers said they would welcome what is known formally as robo-advisory services—computer-generated advice and services separate from human interactions—for insurance, banking and retirement planning, according to Accenture’s Distribution & Marketing Consumer research survey of nearly 33,000 consumers in 18 countries and regions.

Broken down, 74 percent of consumers said they were open to robo-advice to determine which insurance coverage to purchase. Approximately 71 percent said they would use the technology to help figure out which bank account to open. And 68 percent said they’d dive in with the tech to help plan for retirement.

At the same time, nearly two-thirds of consumers said they want human interaction in financial services. About 68 percent said they wanted to interact with an actual customer service person to field a complaint. A large amount of consumers (61 percent) said a person would be a better option to help them decide on more complex financial products such as mortgages.

That said, consumers appear to be looking for new options for financial services shopping. Nearly 30 percent said they’d switch to Google, Amazon or Facebook for insurance services, and 31 percent would do so for banking. Close to 40 percent would try each venue for financial advisory services. Globally speaking, the same percentages would go to a retailer or supermarket for insurance and banking services.

Robo-Advice Entices Consumers Looking for Speed

Why would consumers want to use a robo-advice automated service to buy insurance or conduct banking? Accenture said that 39 percent would do so for the prospect of faster services, and 31 percent said they would try it for a less expensive process. About 26 percent said the technology would be more impartial and analytical than humans.

More people in emerging economies want robo-advice than in the developing world, however. For example, 92 percent of consumer respondents in Indonesia wanted the service, and 90 percent said yes in Thailand. About 86 percent in Berlin want to sign on. These emerging markets already use a smartphone or other digital device to conduct financial services business, Accenture noted.

But the developed world still has a heavy interest. About 56 percent of consumers in Canada said they would dive into robo-advice for financial services business, and close to 60 percent in Germany would.

Consumers who took part in the survey were from countries and regions including the U.S., Canada, Benelux, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Nordic countries, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Thailand. The survey took place during May and June in 2016.

Source: Accenture

Topics Carriers