The vast majority of consumers around the world would welcome human-less, computer-generated advice and services for insurance and other financial products, according to a new report by consultancy firm Accenture, with 51% of those in the UK willing to share more information with insurers specifically to earn benefits.
The company’s latest consumer research discovered that 74% of customers worldwide are willing to exclusively receive robo-advice to help determine which insurance coverage to purchase.
Robo-advice platforms are seen as faster and less expensive services by 39% and 31% of consumers respectively, the report said. Computers or artificial intelligence systems are also perceived by clients to be more impartial and analytical than humans.
The countries with the biggest appetite for robo-advice are Indonesia (92%), Thailand (90%), Brazil (86%) and Chile (84%). But even in nations with the lowest demand – Canada (56%), Germany (59%) and Australia (6%) – more than half of consumers are open to the use of robo-advice.
However, the study also found that nearly two-thirds of consumers still want human interaction in financial services, especially to deal with complaints (68%) and advice about complex products.
This challenges insurance and financial companies to blend physical presence with advanced digital user-experience, as they look to integrate robot and human services, Accenture noted.
“We found strong consumer demand exists today for robo-advice in all areas of financial services - banking, insurance and financial advice,” said Piercarlo Gera, senior managing director, Accenture Financial Services.
“While financial institutions may expect to benefit from internal cost reduction by providing customers with a ‘robo’ option, our research found that consumers also expect first-class human interaction,” he added.
Gera continued: “Successful financial services firms will therefore need a ‘phygital’ strategy that seamlessly integrates technology, branch networks and staff to provide a service that combines physical and digital capabilities and gives consumers a choice.”
The Accenture report also found that 29% of consumers are willing to switch to Google, Amazon or Facebook for insurance services, while another 30% would also tap supermarkets or retailers.
Nearly two-thirds, or 64%, of consumers are interested in personalized insurance advice based on their individual circumstances. More than half, or 57%, would grant their insurance provider access to personal data, but 64% want more tailored advice in exchange.
Accenture surveyed 32,715 respondents across 18 countries and regions including the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Respondents were consumers of banking, insurance and wealth management services.
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