Global study: 79% of people in Asia-Pacific trust robots more than humans with money

Taveesak Saengthong, Managing Director, Oracle Thailand
Taveesak Saengthong, Managing Director, Oracle Thailand

2020 has changed our relationship with money, people now trusting robots more than themselves to manage their finances, according to a new study by Oracle.  The study of more than 2,500 consumers and business leaders across Asia-Pacific (APAC) – Australia, China, India, Japan, and Singapore – found that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased financial anxiety, sadness, and fear among people around the world and has changed who and what we trust to manage our finances. In addition, people are rethinking the role and focus of corporate finance teams and personal financial advisors, according to the research.


COVID-19 has created financial anxiety, sadness, and fear


The global pandemic has negatively impacted people’s relationship with money at home and at work.

  • Business leaders in APAC saw the highest increased in financial anxiety and stress among all Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries surveyed, increasing by 136 per cent – the highest increase comes in China (200 per cent), followed by Singapore (157 per cent)
    • Sadness among APAC business professionals grew by 91 per cent, with Singapore topping all APAC markets at 200 per cent
    • APAC consumer financial anxiety and stress and sadness have almost tripled, with a 118 per cent jump.
  • 92 per cent of APAC business leaders are worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their organisation, with the most common concerns being a slow economic recovery or recession (57 per cent), budget cuts (43 per cent), and bankruptcy (26 per cent).
  • 89 per cent of consumers in APAC are experiencing financial fears, including job loss (38 per cent) – most feared among Singapore consumers at 53 per cent; losing savings (44 per cent) – most concerned among Japanese consumers (53 per cent), and never getting out of debt (22 per cent).
  • These concerns are keeping people up at night: 41 per cent of APAC consumers reported losing sleep due to their personal finances – with India reporting 59 per cent, followed by Singapore (53 per cent).


People want help and now trust robots more than themselves to manage finances


The financial uncertainty created by COVID-19 has changed who and what we trust to manage our finances. To help navigate financial complexity, consumers and business leaders increasingly trust technology over people to help.

  • 79 per cent of APAC consumers and business leaders trust a robot more than a human to manage finances, with Australians (55 per cent) reported trusting robots the least among the APAC countries
  • 84 per cent of business leaders in APAC trust a robot more than themselves to manage finances; 83 per cent trust robots over their own finance teams.
  • 89 per cent of APAC business leaders believe that robots can improve their work by conducting cost/benefit analysis (32 per cent), detecting fraud (27 per cent), and creating invoices (25 per cent).
  • 68 per cent of APAC consumers trust a robot more than themselves to manage finances; almost three-quarters (76 per cent) trust robots over personal financial advisors.
  • 80 per cent of consumers believe robots can help with managing finances. Consumers in APAC believe that robots can be helpful in detecting fraud (36 per cent), helping to reduce spending (23 per cent), but least in making stock market investments (19 per cent).


The role of finance teams and financial advisors will never be the same


To adapt to the growing influence and role of technology, corporate finance professionals and personal finance advisors must embrace change and develop new skills.

  • 60 per cent of APAC business leaders believe robots will replace corporate finance professionals in the next five years.
  • 86 per cent of business leaders in Singapore want help from robots for finance tasks, mostly in budgeting and forecasting (45 per cent), finance approvals (43 per cent), compliance and risk management (43 per cent), and reporting (37 per cent).
  • However, APAC business leaders prefer corporate finance professionals to focus on communicating with customers (41 per cent), negotiating discounts (34 per cent), and approving transactions (27 per cent).
  • Nearly half (48 per cent) of APAC consumers believe robots will replace personal financial advisors in the next five years, with more consumers in China (63 per cent) believing so.
  • 79 per cent of consumers want robots to help them manage their finances so they can free up time (38 per cent), reduce unnecessary spending (34 per cent), and increase on-time payments (27 per cent).
  • However, some consumers in APAC still trust personal financial advisors to provide guidance on major purchasing decisions such as buying a house (37 per cent), buying a car (34 per cent) and planning a vacation (33 per cent).


Our relationship with money has changed; it’s time to embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) to manage finance


The events of 2020 have changed the way consumers think about money and have increased the need for organisations to rethink how they use AI and other new technologies to manage financial processes.

  • 64 per cent of APAC consumers say the pandemic has changed the way they buy goods and services.
  • 90 per cent of APAC business leaders say organisations that do not rethink financial processes will face risks, including falling behind competitors (41 per cent), inaccurate reporting (40 per cent), reduced employee productivity (39 per cent), and more stressed workers (38 per cent).
  • 74 per cent of APAC consumers say the events of 2020 have changed how they feel about handling cash, with people feeling anxious (29 per cent), fearful (24 per cent), and that cash is unhygienic (22 per cent). In fact, a third of consumers in APAC now say that cash-only is a deal-breaker for doing business.
  • Businesses have been quick to respond. 73 per cent of business leaders have invested in digital payment capabilities and 64 per cent have created new forms of customer engagement or changed their business models in response to COVID-19.


Taveesak Saengthong, Managing Director, Oracle Thailand said, Nowadays technology is significant part of industry driven, government, private organization and people all around the world, especially, financial industry in Asia Pacific. According to COVID-19 pandemic impact to economic crisis and climate changes, Thailand also limitless adopt AI and solutions to financial management, investment, money saving and daily payment into the cashless and contactless society. It is key assistant for all aspects of digital business for the people and organization. As the results, Oracle aims to develop seamless innovation in order to be digital fin-tech, drive business, manage daily payment and any kind of financial works.  By ERP cloud, it will reduce the roles of duplicated works and modernizes technology and people to work parallel.


Moreover, Taveesak added, ERP Cloud revenue in quarter 3 has been increase at 30% from quarter 2. We have 7,500 customers all around the world to apply AI and Machine learning on Oracle ERP cloud in order to expand their line business and build new business model much more.


In Thailand, following the purchase of the Thai Tesco Lotus and Malaysian Tesco operations, which include more than 2,000 stores ranging from small format to department stores and large hypermarkets as well as online shopping, Lotus’s selected Oracle to provide them with a modern retail platform with built-in best practice processes.