Brits not letting apprehension put them off AI banking

Despite customers’ concern about banks using AI, they still want to make the most of opportunities the technology offers the banking sector, the latest GFT Banking Disruption Index discovers. In this blog, Richard Kalas takes you through the key findings.

Our previous Banking Disruption Index analysed bank customers’ experience whilst spending and making card transactions abroad. We questioned consumers on their awareness of foreign spending charges and their use of neobanks in foreign countries, which highlighted a frustration and general lack of understanding with foreign card usage. 

This quarter, we focus on the innovation led by artificial intelligence (AI) and how it is affecting the experience of the modern banking customer. 

As we continue to witness the ongoing bloom of the ‘AI spring’, as it is being affectionately referred to nowadays, the evolution of consumer-facing AI solutions is growing and bringing this innovative technology closer to the public than ever before. The general population is quickly coming to grips with generative AI products such as ChatGPT, Google Bard and DALL-E, that all have the potential to greatly improve and evolve their day-to-day lives, as well as enhance their productivity. As this awareness of AI continues to grow, it is natural that customers will begin to question whether or not the critical infrastructure in their lives (finance, healthcare, government, etc), can and should be utilising AI. 

Are customers comfortable with banks utilising AI? 

Despite the benefits that AI brings, the public’s response to the technology has been varied. Some are embracing the new possibilities it offers, recognising its potential to benefit humanity and its remarkable sophistication. On the other hand, there are parties who have criticised it, expressing concerns about its security and highlighting flaws in its programming that can lead to unpredictable outputs. 

In this vein, it is a perfect time to check in with banking customers to see how they feel about AI as it stands. Are they comfortable with their bank utilising the technology? If so, how? 

We tailored our questions to a large sample of UK banking customers to delve into their current experiences with AI; how well they themselves understand the technology, how comfortable they are with it, and whether they want their bank to be using it. 

The results shine a fascinating light on consumer attitudes towards AI, as well as highlighting where banks can action change to improve the consumer experience for the foreseeable future. Overall, 61% of consumers were happy with their banks using AI to support them, and 13% were excited about AI’s potential in banking. 
The AI landscape 

AI has dominated conversations over the past 12 months, both in and out of the boardroom. Products such as GPT-4 are continuing to drive the interest and performance of innovation in the technology, led by the new generative AI tools, providing users with intelligent and high-quality responses and information. 

For the banking industry, AI has the potential to transform the sector and the experience of millions of customers. But it needs to be integrated into consumer facing products and operations in a considered way, where customers feel comfortable with this technology being used on their behalf. 

This is an achievable goal, but constant insight is needed to ensure that any AI-driven service is providing customers with the experience they desire, whilst simultaneously guaranteeing the safety and security of their data. 

With this need for insight in mind, our latest Banking Disruption Index reviewed consumer sentiment surrounding the use of AI, how it is impacting their banking experience and what AI-driven services consumers would like their banking provider to offer. 

An appetite does exist for AI 

There is no doubt AI is already having a huge impact on our lives and will continue to do so for years to come. Our data shows consumers do have an appetite for banks to use AI to support them in multiple areas, from fraud prevention and customer service, to personalised advice. Despite this, there is still some hesitancy from consumers and more work needs to be done in ensuring that customers are part of the journey, and that innovative AI services are always focused on adding value and building their trust. 
Banks have a significant opportunity to integrate AI to provide a better customer experiences. However, especially whilst the technology is considered new and the market remains hesitant, banks must ensure it is used safely and securely and that every application of AI is done with the customers’ best interest first and foremost. 

This blog is a preview of the latest GFT Banking Disruption Index. Download the report in full here

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