A fintech executive at JPMorgan explains why AI isn't all it's cracked up to be when it comes to helping people manage money
- JPMorgan announced the 5 fintech firms joining its Financial Solutions Lab, which is aimed at helping customers who are living paycheck to paycheck.
- Colleen Briggs, the head of community innovation at JPMorgan, said people who are 'financially stressed' are less likely to accept using financial tools with no human interaction.
The robot takeover in financial services is not imminent.
That's the perspective of one executive at a big bank who says some customers might be willing to trade in the efficiency of using a financial tool backed by artificial intelligence for the comfort of dealing with a real person.Colleen Briggs, the head of community innovation at JPMorgan Chase, told Business Insider in an interview that low income households aren't as willing to use tools for managing money completely devoid of human interaction.
Briggs oversees the Financial Solutions Lab, which is run by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) and JPMorgan and focuses on partnering with fintechs aimed at improving the financial health of consumers living paycheck to paycheck. On Tuesday, the CFSI and JPMorgan Chase announced the five companies it selected to join the lab.
In addition to being able to work with executives from CFSI and JPMorgan Chase, the five startups will also receive $125,000 in capital. Since launching four years ago, the Financial Solutions Lab has worked with over 30 fintechs from a pool over over 1,600 applicants and raised over $500 million in funding.
Of the more than 300 firms that applied in 2018 to join the lab, Briggs said there was a noticeable trend of companies using a hybrid approach that included AI techniques and humans working hand-in-hand.
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"A digital-only solution might not be the right mix for somebody who is really financially stressed," Briggs said. "I think the really thoughtful solutions are coming with some interesting models to think about, 'Alright, let's drive digital solutions through AI and machine learning when we can, but then also know when is the moment when I need to refer someone to a human touch or a human element to actually help them with a really particular pain point that they are facing.'"Managing one's money is emotional, Briggs said, and some fintechs are recognizing customers' hesitancy to deal solely with computers. Cash-strapped consumers often feel that decisions around managing their money might require a conversation with an actual human.
Briggs admitted there are those who will be willing to adopt digital-only solutions for a majority of their financial needs. However, when it comes to specific, significant choices about their financial future, many customers feel more comfortable dealing with a real person.
Even younger generations, which are often lauded as early and welcome adopters of new technology, have shown an interest in more hybrid-type approaches.
"We see this even with millennials, who everyone says want to go purely digital," Briggs said. "When it comes to really tough decisions, they often want a person. I think it is, again, that emotional connection to money."
Here are the five fintechs that will be joining the Financial Solutions Lab: