MERGE Insights

Robo Advisor or Financial Advisor, It's All About Trust

BY: ROB POWERS | EVP, FINANCIAL SERVICES PRACTICE LEAD

PUBLISHED: 7/15/2022

We live in a rapidly changing world.

Face-to-face interactions have exponentially decreased as companies have shifted to automated solutions. In fact, there has been a 666% increase in automated customer support and a 659% increase in automated finance solutions according to Workato’s Work Automation Index 2022

The shift to automated solutions is a result of both consumer and brand demand—after all, why should consumers make a trip to the bank when they can bank on their mobile device?

Enter the Robo advisor. And make sure to get on our list and stay up-to-date with all the changes happening in the financial services sector!

 

robo advisor

Robo advisors were developed as a result of the financial crisis in 2008 when consumers lost trust in their financial advisors. Startups jumped on the opportunity to regain consumers' trust by leveraging machine learning and AI algorithms. The first Robo-advisor app was born in 2008, and now, the Robo-advisory market is expected to reach $135 billion by 2026.

Yet, Robo advisors are still met with a degree of skepticism from consumers. When it comes to finances, are consumers ready to put all their trust (and money) into an AI-powered machine?

Consumers want to rebuild the societal trust they feel has been lost. Yet, their default position is not one of trust right now. 

 

How can financial organizations foster consumer trust while adopting automation solutions? 

It all begins with demonstrating integrity and having the consumers’ best interest in mind while consistently providing top-tier customer service. 

 

69% of consumers say that providing personal experiences they value is critical to rebuilding trust, according to Adobe.

Brands must be champions of consumer trust and go above and beyond for their customers. They share this commitment through digital marketing messages and provide transparent communication—
this goes a long way in strengthening ties with consumer trust. 

 

What does Robo Advisors mean for today's investors?

Research shows that more than 90% of human-advised clients would not consider switching to a digital service while 88% of robo-advised clients would consider switching to a human advisor in the future. 

However time, openness and the ability to manage investments appear to play a critical role in determining between a human advisor and a Robo-advisor. We believe this decision also relies on trust. 

While most consumers do not trust large institutions and banks, they do trust their personal connections. Today, a person's physician is their most trusted ally. When there’s money on the line, people tend to trust the holistic advice of a human financial advisor over a machine. There are personal nuances that investors want and need as the market ebbs and flows.  

Human advisors can excel by strengthening relationships with their customers, such as building long-term investment plans and being the voice of reason when it comes to their personal finances.

We believe that the power of storytelling has the power to unite customers and financial advisors. Connecting on a human level to slowly build trust will reveal the best possible outcome for both the customer and financial institutions.


Like many industries, technology is changing the way financial institutions operate. While largely positive, this revolution poses unique risks for financial institutions. Technologies that provide efficiency and accuracy can also create barriers between companies, customers and their money.

As a technology-focused marketing agency, MERGE embraces technologies that create better experiences and outcomes. Yet, we are also keenly aware of the need to never forget the human element, both in the way technology is used and as the foundation of why a brand exists.

We also believe technology plays a crucial role in serving a diverse customer base and delivering inclusive experiences. But this only happens when the human element is at the core of a brand’s expression, experiences and technology.

From robo-advisors to crypto and mobile technologies, solutions that enhance the human experience will drive superior outcomes. The power of human interactions in the world of financial services has the potential to drive retention and advocacy behaviors to ultimately fuel a successful business.

About MERGE

At MERGE, we live at the intersection of storytelling and technology, or in this scenario, the intersection of humans and robo advice.

We partner with leading financial institutions to turn trust into traffic that ultimately builds transactions at scale. This approach is critical in your user experience, enabling brands to deliver valued CRM programs through exceptional customer experiences. We turn touchpoints into trustpoints.

Curious to learn more about this third wave around trust and how your organization can better foster consumer trust? Contact us today.