Bank clients wary of robots service

A teller counts Kenya shilling notes inside the cashier's booth at a forex exchange bureau in Kenya's capital Nairobi, April 20, 2016. /REUTERS
A teller counts Kenya shilling notes inside the cashier's booth at a forex exchange bureau in Kenya's capital Nairobi, April 20, 2016. /REUTERS

Bank customers are yet to warm up to the idea of robots and artificial intelligence handling their banking complains.

In the new Banking Industry Customer Service Survey, 80.5 per cent of 6,121 respondents still value the traditional model of human interaction for customer service.

This is despite the rising uptake of technology by banks to enhance service delivery.

The report by Kenya Bankers Association for the three months to November 2018, however showed 4.9 per cent of the respondents preferred to use the emerging data-driven Artificial Intelligence technologies.

Younger respondents, especially those in their 20s and 30s, showed a greater acceptance rate when compared to respondents over 40.

“However, further research is needed to establish whether this trend owes to low levels of awareness about the value proportion of chatbots, robots and AI technologies,” the report stated.

About 14.8 per cent were open to be serviced by either humans or AI machines. Despite the adverse reaction to robots handling customer care, technology-driven service rated highly with mobile banking topping the most favourite of bank channels at 49 per cent.