Technology has created a world in which everything anybody needs to know is available to them with the touch of a few buttons or a few spoken words. Thanks to Echo and Alexa and other such smart devices, it may be possible to find out what Jennifer Aniston has for breakfast every day, if that is something someone wants to know.
But do affluent people want to be able to say the words “What is my bank balance?” out loud and have their smart toaster answer them?
That is one of the topics investigated in Spectrem’s annual study on technology and its role in investing, banking and household financial matters. Using Technology and Social Media in Financial Decisions asks investors with a net worth of at least $100,000 how far they want the information highway to reach into their portfolios.
The unbelievable length and breadth of reach that companies like Apple and Google have on Americans has become a focal point of attack for some Democratic presidential candidates, who think perhaps there should be some mechanisms to rein in those powerhouse corporations. Along with Amazon, those firms are expressing interest in creating formats that would indeed allow them to collect and then disseminate back the financial information of users.
With that in mind, investors were asked whether they have interest in being able to access their financial information via Amazon, Apple or Google, and the answer for most investors is “No, thank you.”
The overall interest among investors is very low. Interest in having access to their personal financial information via Apple is at 19 percent; via Google, it is at 13 percent; and via Amazon, interest is only at 6 percent.
All three of those companies likely have most of a person’s financial information anyway, if any purchases have been made through those portals. The question is whether investors want to be able to hear their information spouted back to them through smart speakers, televisions, or any other electronic device connected to those companies.
What about the younger investors, you ask?
Among Millennials, 38 percent claim they want to be able to ask their Apple devices about their financial accounts, but only 21 percent of Gen Xers feel that way. The percentage drops for Google and Amazon in all age segments.
Perhaps, as we all get accustomed to getting all of our information from that device on the desk in the kitchen, or from our television monitor in between binge-watching a program, the percentages will rise.