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Who do you choose? Comparing perceptions of human vs robo-advisor in the context of financial services

Lixuan Zhang (John B. Goddard School of Business and Economics, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, USA)
Iryna Pentina (University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)
Yuhong Fan (Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 3 February 2021

Issue publication date: 1 September 2021

6216

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the differences in consumers’ perceptions of trust, performance expectancy and intention to hire between human financial advisors with high/low expertise and robo-advisors.

Design/methodology/approach

Three experiments were conducted. The respondents were randomly assigned to human advisors with high/low expertise or a robo-advisor. Data were analyzed using MANCOVA.

Findings

The results suggest that consumers prefer human financial advisors with high expertise to robo-advisors. There are no significant differences between robo-advisors and novice financial advisors regarding performance expectancy and intention to hire.

Originality/value

This pioneering study extends the self-service technology adoption theory to examine adoption of robo-advisors vs human financial advisors with different expertise levels. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, it is among the first studies to address multi-dimensionality of trust in the context of artificial intelligence-based self-service technologies.

Keywords

Citation

Zhang, L., Pentina, I. and Fan, Y. (2021), "Who do you choose? Comparing perceptions of human vs robo-advisor in the context of financial services", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 634-646. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-05-2020-0162

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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