Title: Majority of Finance Customers Comfortable with Crypto, Less So with AI: Salesforce Survey
A recent survey conducted by Salesforce in the first half of 2023 sheds light on the sentiments of financial service institution (FSI) customers towards artificial intelligence (AI), cryptocurrency, and the digital transformation in the financial services industry. The survey, encompassing over 6,000 respondents from 12 countries across five continents, provides valuable insights into the customer outlook on these emerging technologies.
Growing Interest in Cryptocurrency
One notable finding from the survey is that 61% of the customers have either researched or plan to research cryptocurrency. This highlights a growing interest in digital currency among finance customers. However, despite this enthusiasm, only 29% of the respondents expressed a desire for blockchain digital currency services from their financial institutions. This may indicate a perceived gap in the current offerings from FSIs, a discomfort with the emerging technology, or a potential interest in self-custody.
It is worth mentioning that the survey revealed 60% of customers feel comfortable with cryptocurrency, suggesting a significant level of acceptance. Furthermore, 31% of respondents have researched portfolio diversification, with 30% planning to explore cryptocurrencies as an asset class. This data indicates a developing curiosity and acceptance of crypto as a valid part of a diversified investment portfolio, despite its known volatility.
Trust Concerns Surrounding AI
While cryptocurrency has garnered substantial interest, the survey revealed more subdued sentiments towards AI. Specifically, there is uncertainty among consumers when it comes to trusting AI, especially in the form of financial service chatbots powered by generative AI. This indicates a potential for improvement in the integration and intelligence of chatbots, which are currently identified as a significant source of digital friction.
Only 21% of respondents claimed to “fully trust” AI chatbots, with 56% remaining neutral. It is essential to note that many customer experiences are based on older AI models rather than the latest generative AI technology, such as the recently released GPT-4 API. As the next wave of chatbots powered by advanced AI technologies emerges, it will be interesting to see if trust in AI chatbots improves among customers.
Expectations for AI in Financial Services
Despite the concerns surrounding trust, the survey highlighted an expectation among respondents that AI could enhance financial transactions. Nearly half (46%) expressed optimism about AI’s potential to save time in financial interactions. However, 40% remained neutral, indicating a need for further work to establish the benefits of AI in customers’ minds.
The Salesforce survey provides insight into the evolving landscape of financial services, with customers expressing an increasing interest in blockchain technologies, cryptocurrency, and AI. The findings underscore the challenges and opportunities faced by FSIs as they navigate the intersection of these emerging technologies. While over 60% of customers are comfortable with cryptocurrency, the trust and acceptance of AI, particularly chatbots, emerge as areas that require improvement.
It is worth noting that the survey primarily targeted millennials, followed by Gen X, Generation Boomers, and Gen Z, reflecting the dominant demographics among respondents. As FSIs continue to adapt and integrate emerging technologies to meet customer demands, understanding customer preferences and addressing their concerns will be critical for their success in an evolving financial landscape.