For decades, people have trusted humans to manage their investments. However, as technology advances, robo-advisors — automated platforms that create and maintain investment portfolios — have slowly but surely been taking over the financial industry. Recently, Wells Fargo became the latest Wall Street regular to adopt a robo-advisor of its own.
The robo-advisor, “Intuitive Investor,” works in tandem with the bank’s online services and gives users access to its market research and financial advisors. Primarily aimed at Wells Fargo’s 22 million millennial and Gen X customers, it comes after Bank of America introduced Erica and Geico brought on Kate — both digital assistants meant to help users make smarter decisions and better navigate their banking experience.
Although chatbots are not a new development in the finance world, the shift towards more human-like bots with predictive capabilities highlights how consumers are increasingly reaching for digital banking resources. From making payments to making investments, the use of fintech tools surged from 16% to 33% since 2015, according to L2’s financial services report.
With cryptocurrency on the rise, Intuitive Investor’s primary purpose is to guide millennials through the often confusing world of investing. It takes aim at Bank of America’s Merill Edge, which also focuses on guided investing. While Merill Edge requires investors to put in a minimum of $5,000, Intuitive Investor asks for at least $10,000 for those interested in investing, an amount that may be too high for first-time investors.
The bot comes not long after Wells Fargo’s 2016 scandal, during which employees were accused of opening as many as 3.5 million deposit and credit card accounts without customer permission. If consumers can’t trust human advisors to handle their money, could they place their trust in a bot?