Bots advising on digital investments, but what do customers have to say?
Updated: Jul 7
The “man vs. machine” story, or better yet “machines replacing man”, weaved itself into the investment world too in recent years. As more and more digital investment platforms popped up, consumers were starting to get used to the idea of no longer having to consult with their bank advisor on where to put their money. Instead of people helping them to decide on such matters directly, we live now in a world of “neo-brokers” and “Robo-advisors”. But how customers are reacting to such new realities, and on such a sensitive subject of handling their money? And if something goes wrong, who will they blame?
Investing on digital platforms features many fairly new services, such as Hatch or Stake, where customers can put their money. They can buy part-shares of companies on local and international stock exchanges, starting with as little as 1 cent (!), plus the cost of the transaction, in hope of seeing large returns in the future. Many people are handling much larger amounts of money on such online platforms, including transfers resulting from buying and selling various properties, such as lands and homes.
As digital investment statistics show, total transaction value in digital investments is projected to total a little over $2.2 billion for 2022 and $3.3 billion in 2025, as more and more consumers are expected to join such services. The USA leads the world in the number of digital investments, as Americans’ expected share of the 2022 pie would go a little over 60% out of the $2.2 billion total.
The new investment world consists mainly of two types of services. Neo brokers are financial applications that allow users to trade stocks, from various exchanges, without additional fees. Such services’ goal is to allow basically everyone to have access to the stock market in a sort of democratization process. In the world of neo brokers, with just a few clicks, every consumer is able to buy or sell securities, even outside of the regular trading hours. Users of such applications, however, are advised to be careful when seeing “free-of-charge” ads for them, as these services do carry trading charges.
The second type of digital investment service, the Robo-advisor, is by far the more popular one, with an expected 80% share of the total USA pie for 2022. As robo advisors are growing by the minute, those services provide automated AI financial planning that covers areas such as account services, portfolio management, security features, financial education tips, and very low fees. Offering little to no human intervention, but usually, with attentive customer service, Robo-advisors are very easy-to-use and are viewed as saving time and money to consumers. But as many subscribe to such services, such as Sofi Invest or Wealthfront, they still beg the question: Can consumers trust robo advisors?
It seems that once again, communications between service providers and consumers is key. Digital investment services would like to learn more about how their services are operating for customers and what they have to do to reduce and even eliminate, consumers’ fears of using them. Customers would like to see just how those services are guaranteeing them a safe and bug-free, as best possible, handling of their monies.
Affogata can help both sides of the table by delivering real-time tracking and analysis of the aggregate opinion of millions of customers. Comments and complaints can be sorted out into categories, a service that would allow companies to prioritize their handling of such customer conversations. Product and services’ fixes and improvements can happen as a result of what customers report and claim, as companies have no better source than the one using their offers. Businesses can also respond to all mentions, from whatever platform, on Affogata’s “all-in-one” platform.
The digital investment platforms’ outcome and level of success rely heavily on understanding and figuring out millions of customer feedback data points. Affogata will continue to deliver on such communications for the benefit of both sides, service providers and customers.