What a load of Chatbots!

2018 could be the year of the chatbot! Latest Harris 24 research...

Adrian Wooldridge

Whilst it is early doors in the development and adoption of chatbots within UK businesses, proliferation is happening as we speak. Did you know that most new smartphones worldwide now contain a chatbot? No, neither did I!

Chatbots are being developed to save businesses and consumers time and money, but what do UK consumers think about them right now, are they aware of them, do they know when they are interacting with them and even what they are? More than 1,000 UK consumers gave us their thoughts using our rapid Harris 24 online survey platform.

At this stage, it’s no surprise that there is uncertainty around chatbots:

  • 61% weren’t sure or didn’t know what a chatbot was
  • 85% claimed to have not interacted with one or weren’t sure if they had when interacting with a financial services provider
  • 56% would feel uncomfortable using a chatbot from a financial services provider

But we are seeing signs of acceptance. Of the people who claimed to have interacted with a chatbot from a FS provider, 61% had a positive experience, which I think is very encouraging and seems to me that at this early stage of development they have a promising future saving both businesses and customers time and money a rare win-win for all! Also, a fifth of consumers or more would be comfortable using a chatbot for advice or to make payments, and a sixth or more were open to using a chatbot to cancel payments, open a new product or resolve a query or complaint.

The usual suspects floated to the surface in terms of the concerns people have about using chatbots: data security breaches, receiving incorrect advice and the technology failing. However, the number one concern was that the lack of human interaction, highlighting that people still want to deal with people. I would expect that as chatbots become more established these concerns will fade, but FS companies need to be aware of this concern in the early days.

With the disruption of fintech companies entering UK financial services, and these young companies being keen early adopters of chatbots and AI, the UK FS industry is expected to undergo a transformation in the coming years with established FS providers needing to evolve and keep up, whilst offering a seamless omnichannel transition when required.

If you would like to re-run the survey amongst your customers or want to learn more on how Harris 24 can help you find the answers you are looking for – please contact me on 0161 242 1360.

This survey was conducted amongst 1,068 UK adults during the evening of Thursday 25th January using our extremely quick and easy to use Harris 24 online platform.


  • Chatbots
  • Harris 24