Lindner was referring to a global study done by Oracle and personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi which covered over 9,000 consumers and business leaders across 14 countries including India. The study found that the pandemic had significantly contributed to an increase in financial anxiety among people around the world.
“Up to 93% of Indian business leaders have basically invested in digital payment capabilities and 81% have created new forms of customer engagement as well,” he said.
In comparison, 69% of global business leaders accelerated their digital payment capabilities and added new forms of customer interactions.
“It’s always interesting to contrast the global findings and see just how advanced for example India is in the endorsement of these type of technologies (digital payments). We see a discrepancy across the globe, as to how trusting different countries and regions are around the globe, and India, is certainly leading the charge…,” said Lindner.
According to the global study 87% consumers are experiencing financial fears, including job loss (39%), losing savings (38%), and never getting out of debt (26%). Amongst Indian consumers these fears are even more heightened with 90% people worried about their finances due to concerns like job loss (34%), a loss in savings (47%), and a fear of never getting out of debt (21%).
The pandemic has also exacerbated the trust that people are putting in AI’s ability to manage their finances better than themselves. The study said that 73% of business leaders now trust a robot more than themselves to manage finances while 77% trust robots over their own finance teams.
In India, 88% of Indian business leaders trust a robot more than themselves to manage finances while 85% trust robots over their own finance teams.
Lindner said, “At this point in time, what we’re seeing is there’s a lot of creativity. Across many corporations, a lot of algorithms are being made available, specifically for personal finances. Oftentimes, they’re helping you (consumers) be disciplined, in terms of managing spend patterns, helping you be more aware of potentially fraudulent activity on your accounts, credit cards…”
Globally, up to 85% business leaders are happy to take help from robots for finance tasks, including finance approvals (43%), budgeting and forecasting (39%), reporting (38%), and compliance and risk management (38%).
In India, business leaders want even more assistance from AI for such tasks. Up to 93% of Indian business leaders want assistance from robots for finance tasks, including finance approvals (58%), budgeting and forecasting (49%), reporting (38%), and compliance and risk management (50%).
The future of financial advice professionals may look a lot more different with the increasing proliferation of AI in financial decisions. The study found that 32% global and 57% Indian consumers believe that robots will replace personal financial advisors in the next five years.
Oracle’s Lindner believes that the change would not happen ‘overnight’.
“I do think it is a trend that is going to redefine how a finance career is going to look like and how we as consumers, are going to be consuming those types of services for decision making. I do think its (AI’s) potential is going to be significant. But once again, it’s not going to be an overnight sensation.”
Trust in AI would be earned through various use cases and their effectiveness, he added.
“I think the key word would be the trust is ‘earned’. Technologically, AI is superior by any means, but you need to train it. Corporations are going to be extremely creative about the use cases.”