HSBC is stepping up its game in fintech innovation as it looks to bring digitally sceptical customers on board with new technologies that could become increasingly essential for boosting traditional lenders’ efficiency.
In a survey of over 12,000 consumers across 11 countries, the global bank found that consumers are twice as likely to trust artificial intelligence to carry out heart surgery than for opening a savings account.
And despite the fact that fingerprint recognition has proved to be five times more secure than passwords, almost half respondents would mistrust it, the research found.
Only 11 per cent of them would trust any type of robo-service, such as chatbots, to open a savings account or provide mortgage advice, the bank said.
Consumers are wary of digital innovation despite the ability of these new offerings to assess vast amounts of data and identify the best services and products, it added.
HSBC argued that a lack of understanding and trust in technology is standing in the way of a more extensive adoption of streamlined and innovative digital services that would make millions of people’s daily lives simpler and more secure.
87 per cent of respondents were equally worried about their bank protecting their personal data and their actual finances, a figure that underpins the level of diffidence towards online technology.
“While people say they place huge value in the security of their personal data, they do not yet understand that adopting new technologies can help them to protect their information,” said John Flint, global chief executive of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC.
“Our research shows many people do not understand new technologies and so are unable to place trust in them.
“We have a role to play in building our customers’ knowledge and trust so that they see the value to their lives in adopting a new payments app or the latest biometric security.”
The research showed that blockchain technology, robo-advice and financial apps were the most misunderstood services, with up to 80 per cent of consumers oblivious to the value the digital ledger services could deliver in handling their money.
The bank is launching an educational programme to support its adoption of new banking technology, it said, in response to the survey’s findings. It will employ 3,000 digital experts by the end of the year to help it embed new digital ‘ways of working’ across the group.
It will also introduce digital training to over 31,000 employees in 12 markets within the same timeframe.