How finance is fully embracing the use of AI

AI and human faces face each oter

Finance roles have emerged as the most common users of A1 with 63 per cent of them adopting it in some form.

This is despite a general awareness of potential risks, according to new research examining consumer and business attitudes in the financial sector across Europe.

It explored the impact of AI on businesses and consumers, consumer financial sentiment and the evolution of B2B payments, looking in detail at three sections: the voice of the consumer, The rise of AI and The state of B2B payments.

Some 800 consumers and 375 senior business decision makers with authority in their B2B finance department spoke to researchers from Sapio Research across the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

The results revealed that generative AI was most commonly used in finance roles (63%), with marketing (27%) and sales (19%) being amongst the lowest users.

Andrew White headshot

White: Financial services constantly evolving

Across the board, there was majority consensus that businesses will invest in AI within the next 24 months, particularly in France (75%), Germany (82%) and the Netherlands (76%).

With 21% of businesses overall reporting AI as a top investment priority, it’s unsurprising that 93% were also aware of the risks associated with using AI.

Data security was the most commonly perceived threat (43%), followed by intellectual property and legal risks (41%) and lack of accountability or transparency (29%).

Despite a keen awareness of risks, half of businesses surveyed had no strict access to limitations in place (62%) and no guidance on acceptable use of AI (54%), highlighting a significant need for proper guidance and support.

In terms of consumer attitudes to AI, Sapio Research’s report found that aside from when solving simple problems, consumers don’t appear comfortable using AI chatbots. The survey found that only 15 per cent would be happy to take financial advice from one, despite the fact that half of senior financial decision makers felt that generative AI has the highest potential in the front-end of their business.

Employees working within the finance sector have embraced new technology, and this has certainly been reflected in the innovation we’ve seen in financial services

In addition to looking at consumer attitudes and AI, Sapio also gathered insights from 375 senior business decision makers, with authority in their B2B finance department, about their use of B2B payments.

Interestingly, 60 per cent agreed that the B2B payments sector is developmentally behind the B2C space. The survey reported that only half (48%) of B2B businesses have shifted to exclusively use digital payment methods, whilst the B2C payments sector has witnessed significant digitalisation over the past decade.

Andrew White, CEO and Co-Founder of Sapio Research, said: “Financial services are constantly evolving and our results point to some interesting trends about where the sector is headed in 2024 and beyond.

“It’s clear that employees working within the finance sector have embraced new technology, and this has certainly been reflected in the innovation we’ve seen in financial services in recent years – from digital banking to cryptocurrency.

“That said, there is clearly a big education task at hand for financial services providers when it comes to winning over more reluctant buyer categories – particularly those consumers that sit outside the ‘digital native’ category, and B2B buyers, too.”


Small teams embracing AI more and more
Read the Sapio report here