APAC Consumers Report Interest in AI-Facilitated Investment Products Amid Perceived Risk of Financial Hardship over Next Five Years

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  • 55% of APAC consumers perceive a looming risk of financial hardship over the next five years, fuelled by economic uncertainty and a persistent cost-of-living crisis
  • 60% of APAC consumers have expressed interest in AI-driven decision-making facilitation for their investments
  • Human-led services still play a valuable role in financial services during challenging economic times, despite the growth of digital banking

Singapore, 28 September 2023 | Economic uncertainty and a persistent cost-of-living crisis has cast a shadow of financial apprehension over the Asia-Pacific region, with 55% of consumers perceiving a looming risk of financial hardship over the next five years1. This trend is among the key findings of the dentsu Finance DNA: Future of Finance and Payments report, which surveyed consumers across 10 Asia Pacific markets and explores the evolving landscape of consumer financial behaviour against a backdrop of economic uncertainty. 

As the APAC economy grapples with slowing growth and widespread inflationary pressures, consumers are actively seeking financial service providers capable of delivering swift, personalised and empathetic solutions to address their financial needs. The report highlights a significant shift in the attitude of millennials towards investment savings, with 45% looking to save, up from 31% in 20202. The growing interest in investments stems from mounting concerns about escalating government debt and the sustainability of future pension support. 

Commenting on these findings, Prerna Mehrotra, Chief Client Officer, and CEO Media, dentsu APAC, said: 

“Across the APAC region, consumers are focused on securing their financial futures, and they're turning to brands that not only provide convenience through cutting-edge technology but also prioritise emotional responsiveness and empathy. In this era of uncertainty, financial wellness is seen as part and parcel of overall wellness. People are in search of providers that go beyond merely offering financial solutions; banks, insurers and fintech are responding by building guidance on investments and good financial habits into their offerings.” 

The enduring value of human-led financial services

With consumer behaviour predominantly favouring mobile and online banking, 77% of 25-34s currently use the internet for banking purposes on a weekly basis3. Most are open to purchasing more banking services through digital channels. However, 6 out of 10 APAC consumers still prefer to interact with a human being when making a complaint about a product or service4. Even with the rise of digital banking, the report highlights the enduring value of human-led services, especially during challenging times. Empathetic support remains a cornerstone of financial services, ensuring that consumers receive the assistance they need when confronted with financial difficulties. 

Technological advancement balanced with human empathy

The report also reveals a growing interest in AI-powered financial services, with 60% of APAC consumers expressing interest in AI-driven decision-making facilitation for their investments5. The evolving capabilities of AI are also set to reshape the insurance industry by enhancing the buying and claims processes and helping consumers build personal resilience against financial and climate-related risks. 

Growing investment in AI will quickly improve the capabilities of insurance and finance brands to provide automated, personalised and speedy services. However, the core challenge for brands will be to offer solutions, which can respond swiftly to customer needs while maintaining a sense of human connection. Balancing technological advancement with human empathy will be key to their success. 

The full Finance DNA: The Future of Finance and Payments report can be downloaded at: https://info.dentsu.com/dentsu-finance-dna-pr 

 1 Foresight Factory │ Base: 799-4869 online respondents per country aged 16+[Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand 16-74,UAE,Vietnam 16-64,Indonesia 16-54], 2022 March 

2 Foresight Factory | APAC Average online respondents per country aged 16+, 2022 March  

3 Foresight Factory | Base: 39400 online respondents aged 16+, Global Average (27 markets), 2022 March 

4 Foresight Factory │ Base: 11377 APAC Average online respondents per country aged 16+, China, India, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia], 2021 March (Reported trend) 

5 Foresight Factory | Base: 2889 APAC Average online respondents per country aged 16+ [China, South Korea], 2022 January