Study Analyses Factors that Drive Acceptance of Banking Virtual Assistants by Customers

Study Analyses Factors that Drive Acceptance of Banking Virtual Assistants by Customers

MBM Thesis by Elahe Ghasemi Reveals that Reactions of Users Vary

The Netherlands is one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to banking and financial services. In recent years, the adoption of Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) by Dutch banks and other financial institutions has become increasingly more frequent. 

Inspired by this innovative environment, Wittenborg graduate Elahe Ghasemi, originally from Iran, decided to write her master’s thesis on the factors that influence the acceptance of IVAs by customers.  

Ghasemi, who recently completed an MBM (Master of Business Management) degree in Finance, highlights that the Dutch banking sector is going through a remarkable digital transformation.  

“This is driven by advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), changes in consumer behaviour and the need for more efficient customer services, which was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she says. 

To conduct her research, the student relied on an online survey that was administered to 295 participants. These individuals were Ghasemi’s colleagues at Howden Thomassen Compressors. The questionnaire covered various topics, including the frequency of IVAs usage by respondents, their understanding of IVAs in banking and their preferred interaction channels. Participants also rated their satisfaction with these tools and their perceptions of ease of use, usefulness, risk and trust in IVAs. 

According to the study, customers’ reactions to banking virtual assistants vary. While some appreciate the convenience and efficiency they offer, finding personalised assistance valuable, others may feel frustrated by technical issues or have security concerns. 

“IVAs are pivotal in streamlining processes, anticipating customer needs and enhancing efficiency. The research emphasises the significant impact of these technologies in providing more responsive services, consequently fostering higher levels of customer adoption. However, it is important to note that perceived risks can negatively influence the adoption of IVAs. Customers may be hesitant to use virtual assistants if they perceive them as risky, particularly in terms of data privacy and security,” the graduate underlines. 

Ghasemi points out that similar studies can be conducted in other countries and sectors of activity, in order to further explore this topic.  

Regarding her plans for the future, the graduate says that she intends to excel in her new role as a Process Quality Inspector at Howden Thomassen Compressors. “I'll focus on mastering this role, contributing to the improvement of processes and pursuing professional development. As time goes by, I aim to progress within the company, leveraging my network and my involvement with the industry to enhance my career prospects.”

WUP 15/05/2024 
by Ulisses Sawczuk 
©WUAS Press