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MAS tests social media savings robo

MAS tests social media savings robo

The Money Advice Service will be testing a robot which will encourage people to save more through social media.

The service will be tested through the Financial Capability Lab, which is a partnership between Mas, the Behavioural Insights Team and Ipsos Mori aimed at testing new ideas to help people address their financial problems.

Max Mawby, a member of Behavioural Insight Team's financial behaviour team, told the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association's (Pimfa) fintech conference today (12 September) the project would soon be testing a robo "savings supporter".

He said the project had already found that people will save more if they have another person in their social network encouraging them to do so, and now it wanted to find out whether using a chatbot or robot would have the same effect.

Mr Mawby said: "We are really interested in testing how people respond to an idea we call 'savings supporter'.

"We wanted to test how someone in your social network who cares about you can support you achieving your goals."

He said a social connection people have with another human being can lead to them achieving their goals more consistently.

"We are very interested, as we go into the next phase, to test how a 'savings supporter' with a person performs compared to a 'savings supporter' with a robo or a chatbot who provides that support," Mr Mawby added.

"We are humble about what we think the outcome of that could be because they are different environments and different people respond differently in different environments."

Since its launch in 2016 the Financial Capability Lab has generated more than 260 ideas and tested 17 of them.

damian.fantato@ft.com