Something’s fishy: Consumers can’t differentiate between humans and AI


The mortgage industry is keeping the customer experience top of mind, particularly in a climate where lending activity is down. And to make things better for borrowers (while also keeping costs at bay), it’s turning to technology for support.

In doing so, institutions in mortgage and broader financial markets are leaning on tools like interactive voice response and artificial intelligence for customer and payment assistance. In these instances, consumers are claiming they can’t tell the difference between genuine human interaction and IVR or AI, according to a survey by Western Union’s electronic payment company Speedpay — but results of this and other surveys indicate otherwise.


Digital mortgage era or not, consumers have contended that while technology facilitates a better experience, there needs to be some level of human interaction within the process. In the same Speedpay report, at nearly 57%, the majority of surveyors claimed AI-powered solutions won’t be able to fully replace people in managing customer service interactions when looking five to 10 years down the line.

The No. 1 reason they feel this way is because the technology can’t replicate human empathy, according to 44.5% of respondents. And this is all based on consumers who believe AI-powered tools can support a better experience. About 33.3% said the human element can’t be entirely replaced because tech creates a more frustrating experience and 20.3% claim it can’t solve complex problems.

Looking for more digital mortgage innovation?

Overall, 70% of consumers said they want to talk to a human, though about 25% won’t care if they’re dealing with man or machine should the service be good, according to Speedpay.

About 64% of respondents claim AI will support the customer experience by helping save time, and 52% agreed it’ll help solve issues when humans are unavailable; nearly 31% said AI-powered technology will help eliminate human error.

Only 16% of homeowners applied for their most recent mortgage completely online, according to Ellie Mae’s 2018 Borrower Insights Survey. About 45% applied entirely in person, and 35% leveraged a combination of an online application and in-person interaction.

Leave a Reply