Generative artificial intelligence has dominated much of the world’s discussion following the launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI. But as financial institutions (FIs), fintechs and banks ponder the potential of the technology, 30 per cent of UK consumers do not trust it at all; FIS, the financial services technology provider, has revealed.
FIS conducted consumer research into the extent to which people understand and trust generative AI, as well as their attitudes towards the emerging technology’s role in personal finance and banking.
Generative AI has captured the world’s attention over the past 18 months with widely perceived potential to transform how we live and work. Following this, global spending on AI-centric systems is expected to surpass $300billion USD in 2026, with banking being one of the two industries that will deliver the largest AI investments.
Despite this, consumer trust in the technology remains low. According to FIS’ Trust in Generative AI research, 44 per cent of Boomers expressed a total lack of trust, compared to 30 per cent of Gen X, 21 per cent of Millennials, and just 12 per cent of Gen Z consumers in the study.
For those respondents with little or no trust in the technology, the most important factor in increasing their trust is more transparency into how data is used (66 per cent), the introduction of regulation or legislation at government level (62 per cent), and knowing a human is overseeing the technology (61 per cent).
However, 39 per cent of UK consumers still expressed curiosity about generative AI, suggesting there is an opportunity to teach people more and to enhance trust. The research suggests that more education is needed, with 42 per cent of consumers admitting they do not currently know how to use this technology.
AI in financial services
The FIS study also explored opinions on the role of generative AI in financial services. Overall, 74 per cent of UK consumers have no idea if their bank uses the technology within its operations.
Respondents were split in half (50 per cent) on whether they would be comfortable with their bank using the technology or not. However, 25 per cent would be less likely to continue to use their bank if they knew it was deploying the technology.
Silvia Mensdorff-Pouilly, SVP and general manager of banking and payments EMEA at FIS, commented: “Although still in its infancy, generative AI is already being deployed across a number of use cases in financial services – for example, to power customer service chatbots and to detect fraud.
“In fact, around half of financial institutions in the UK are already using some form of generative AI in their operations, showing that consumers may be unaware of how generative AI is embedded in many of the financial services they’re already using.”
AI in personal finance
The research also found that more than half (57 per cent) of UK consumers surveyed would not be interested in using a generative AI-powered application or service for financial tasks such as completing their tax return or planning their finances if one became available in the future.
Of the remaining 43 per cent of respondents who would be interested in using such an application or service for financial tasks, the most compelling factors are that the technology would save them time (53 per cent) and that it would be more cost-effective than using a human financial service professional (40 per cent).
Mensdorff-Pouilly concluded: “When mobile phones were first introduced, many consumers thought they didn’t want or need one.
“If we fast forward to today, that technology has not only been accepted, but it’s transformed our society – we now couldn’t imagine life without these devices. We will likely see the same with generative AI over the next few years as the technology matures and more use cases are identified.
“Financial institutions have an opportunity to educate their customers on how they are embracing innovation with this new technology. Crucially, they must be transparent about how they are using data if they are to succeed in winning trust.”