Security concerns run the risk of preventing consumers from fully benefiting from voice-assisted technology, according to digital home insurer Policy Expert, with insurers and banks facing a particular battle to help customers overcome this fear.
As many as 70% of UK adults now have access to voice assistant technology through smartphones and smart home devices, with Amazon’s Alexa being the most popular (used by 26% of UK adults in our sample). Apple Siri (17%) and Google Assistant (17%) fall into joint second place.
Growing adoption of voice technology means many UK adults are or would be comfortable using voice assistants to help with a range of everyday tasks, from finding out the weather forecast (54%) and getting directions (47%) to selecting music or video content (41%) and writing an email or text (18%).
Almost three quarters (70%) of UK adults now have access to voice assistant technology through smartphones and smart home devices
However, while 11% would use voice assisted technology to shop online, only 7% would use this to check their bank account balance, 5% to make a bank transfer, 5% to take out an insurance policy and 4% to make an insurance claim.
This comes despite a growing number of established high street institutions and challenger brands in the banking sector integrating voice capabilities into their services.
Graph 1: Proportion of UK adults comfortable using voice assistants for various tasks
Security concerns prevent consumers from making full use of voice assistants
The main factor preventing UK adults from making more use of voice assistants is security concerns, with more than a third (37%) worrying their details won’t be secure. One in five (19%) are sceptical whether the technology is accurate or effective enough and 16% find the whole idea of speaking to voice assistants weird or creepy.
Fear of making a mistake (10%) and confusion around how the technology works (9%) are other common factors preventing wider adoption of voice assistants in daily life.
Adam Powell, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Policy Expert, commented: “With many UK households owning at least one device with a voice assistant, access to this technology is quickly becoming widespread. But consumers are holding back from getting the maximum benefit from voice assistants, and security concerns represent a significant barrier to wider adoption of this technology to help people manage their household finances.
less than one in ten would use a voice assistant to take out an insurance policy or manage their banking, with 37% not trusting their details will be secure
Financial services providers are increasingly introducing voice-assisted features and services to help customers manage money matters. While banks have led the way, we’re likely to see this trend gain traction in the insurance industry and adoption could quickly be accelerated if brands like Amazon make a play for a central role.
Our quick-quote API capabilities and microservices infrastructure mean Policy Expert’s technology platform is fully primed for the wider use of voice activation as soon as today’s aggregated insurance marketplace is ready for it. As well as making the customer journey quicker and easier, voice assistants can also help improve accessibility, such as for people with visual impairments.
However, as an industry, it’s crucial that we tackle security concerns and put people’s minds at rest otherwise this technological innovation is likely to go un-used. Consumers must feel safe and secure at all stages of the insurance process, with the right safeguards and data protection steps put in place.”