Money and AI: More people trust robots to manage finances

February 15, 2021 //By Rich Pell
Money and AI: More people trust robots to manage finances
A new study by computer technology Oracle and personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi finds that 2020 has changed people's relationship with money and people now trust AI-enabled robots more than themselves to manage their finances.

The global study of more than 9,000 consumers and business leaders in 14 countries, says the company, found that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased financial anxiety, sadness, and fear among people around the world and has changed who and what people trust to manage their finances:

  • Among business leaders, financial anxiety and stress increased by 186 percent and sadness grew by 116 percent; consumer financial anxiety and stress doubled and sadness increased by 70 percent.
  • 90 percent of business leaders worry about the impact of COVID-19 on their organization, with the most common concerns centering on a slow economic recovery or recession (51 percent); budget cuts (38 percent); and bankruptcy (27 percent).
  • 87 percent of consumers are experiencing financial fears, including job loss (39 percent); losing savings (38 percent); and never getting out of debt (26 percent).
  • These concerns are keeping people up at night: 41 percent of consumers reported losing sleep due to their personal finances.

"Managing finances is tough at the best of times," says Farnoosh Torabi, personal finance expert and host of the So Money podcast, "and the financial uncertainty of the global pandemic has exacerbated financial challenges at home and at work. Robots are well-positioned to assist – they are great with numbers and don't have the same emotional connection with money."

According to the study, people increasingly see robots as a better way to manage finances:

  • 67 percent of consumers and business leaders trust a robot more than a human to manage finances.
  • 73 percent of business leaders trust a robot more than themselves to manage finances; 77 percent trust robots over their own finance teams.
  • 89 percent of business leaders believe that robots can improve their work by detecting fraud (34 percent); creating invoices (25 percent); and conducting cost/benefit analysis (23 percent).
  • 53 percent of consumers trust a robot more than themselves to manage finances; 63 percent trust robots over personal financial advisors.
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