With financial advice professionals licking their wounds following the Banking Royal Commission, it appears that now is the perfect time for a robot uprising.
That is if you look to recent research which shows that 30 per cent of Australians would trust a robot to offer them financial advice.
According to think tank Thinque this statistic comes as faith in the human side of the financial sector begins to waver, especially in the wake of the revelations of the Banking Royal Commission.
Tellingly, this is compared to just 9% of respondents who would trust a robot to provide psychology / counselling or relationship advice or allow bots to help them make other long-term choices, such as career or marriage decisions.
Global futurist and innovation strategist, Anders Sörman-Nilsson says that the role of robots is changing in our society.
"Previously, Australians have trusted digital tools with purely transactional activities such as mobile payments," says Sörman-Nilsson.
"However, when it comes to more strategic life advice, we are now beginning to trust AI to advise us in sectors such as health and travel, and increasingly we are entrusting robots in the banking and finance sector, as many Australians' distrust in human advisors has mushroomed in the wake of the Royal Commission."
The research from Thinque also highlights that fraud is still a key concern in the financial services sector more broadly, with those surveyed stating that this sector is where they are most concerned about digital fraud (80 per cent) compared to the Government/public sector (56 per cent), insurance (46 per cent), health (39 per cent), property (37 per cent), and retail (35 per cent).
Offering their reasons for feeling this way, 41 per cent of those surveyed said that the greater amount of data transactions online means information can easily get into the wrong hands, 39 per cent feel hackers/thieves are evolving faster than cyber security technology, 15 per cent believed the average Australian lacks the understanding of emerging payment technology to be able to protect themselves from attacks, while 4 per cent said they don't believe there's enough moderation of advancing technology.
"With public distrust in the financial industry at an all-time high banks, retailers and brands must place importance on offering seamless customer transactions, ensuring that their money is in safe hands at all times," says Sörman-Nilsson.
"In turn, financial advisors in particular need to look at how to rebuild public trust in this digital age. They have lost their voice and partially forgotten to story-tell and build a narrative of trust - digitally - and are thus failing to re-engage Australians - at a time when more Australians than ever actually need financial advice."
Business News Australia
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