top of page

The Rise of AI-Powered Personal Financial Assistants

A man wearing business wear smiling at his phone, which is projecting graph icons. The overlaying orange text reads: Fintech for Humans, with the orange Ukheshe 'u' in the bottom right corner

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are permeating just about every aspect of our lives, even though we might not always be aware that they are there. Online chatbots and algorithms that determine what we see on our social media feeds are just two everyday examples of AI at work. Most of the trends within the financial services sector involve digital technologies and AI, and according to a 2023 report by S&P Global, it’s this industry over all others that is set to be the biggest adopter of AI in the future.   

For financial service providers, AI is used to carry out mundane and time-consuming tasks quickly and with greater accuracy than humans can do, reducing man hours, costs and errors. AI also sifts and aggregates mass amounts of online data, making it the perfect tool to harness in the personal financial assistance space. If we try and manage our investments, savings, spending tracking and other financial management functions, we can get overwhelmed by the volume of information available and bogged down by the complexities of the equations needed to calculate risk versus reward, so AI-driven apps that do the work for us offer a huge advantage.

AI quickly and efficiently cuts through the clutter of the online world and makes considered calculations, analyses investment opportunities that match a risk profile, and personalises other product searches according to age, lifestyle and family circumstances. With an investment plan in place, AI will continue to work as a personal finance assistant, conduct portfolio performance analyses and recommend adjustments accordingly.  


The additional benefits of an AI-driven financial assistant include the management of day-to-day outgoings, budgeting and the tracking of income and expenditure, all done with accuracy and efficiency. 

What an AI financial assistant lacks, however, is the human touch, and the ability to discuss investment permutations and the 'what ifs’ with a client. In selecting an AI tool, it is essential that users are informed regarding the authenticity and reliability of the app or platform, which may not be regulated by the same ethical financial practice legislation that governs humans. 

Some AI tools that have gained popularity among users include Wally GPT, the world’s first AI-powered personal finance app, which is free to use. Finchat is excellent for investment research and its functionality includes a chatbot that can guide and advise. It also has a very informative blog that includes information about other related AI financial services. 22Seven is an app that provides more financial management functions, and Range is a full-service wealth management platform for individuals. 

However, something worth noting is that any technology that can be used for good is also vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and submitting your most confidential financial data can present a security risk if the app or site you are using is compromised in any way. Ensure that any online financial service you subscribe to has the highest levels of security with malware and other built-in mechanisms that will protect you from any potential data breaches. 


Another concern regarding the use of AI is the perpetuation of societal bias when it comes to the algorithms that are used to manage data. Without changing the criteria that a service provider or supplier company applies in accepting an application for a financial service, such as a person’s location, age, or other demographic, it may preclude an individual or group from legitimately participating in a financial programme. For example, an insurance policy may exclude people living in certain regions or suburbs, or other products may judge acceptability based on the level of education that the applicant has completed. Without a fundamental shift in the selection data, these unfair and discriminatory practices may continue through AI. 


Taking ethics and independent thinking out of the equation when using AI means there can be no exceptions to any rule, whereas in ‘real life’ there are always anomalies and exceptions in most scenarios. AI does not have emotional intelligence, and this may sometimes be what is needed in the relationship between a client and a financial advisor or assistant. 


Although AI relieves users from performing in-depth, detailed and time-consuming research and analysis and making long and complex mathematical calculations, it is best used as a tool by someone who is already financially as well as digitally savvy. AI is here to stay but it is still in its infancy and needs to be used and applied with caution. 


bottom of page