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  • Almost three-quarters (72%) of people are concerned that the increased use of AI could lead to more sophisticated financial fraud, according to PTSB’s latest Reflecting Ireland Report
  • When seeking guidance about financial products such as a mortgage, human support is up to six times more preferable than tech-led support
  • The cost of living is still the most important issue for people (34%), followed by immigration (14%) and the price of housing (13%)

PTSB’s latest Reflecting Ireland report suggests that a significant majority of people are uncomfortable about the role of AI when it comes to their finances, and far prefer human support rather than tech-led support for bigger financial decisions such as mortgages or investments.

The bank’s quarterly research of consumer behaviour and attitudes also reveals that fraud attempts have become less frequent but more effective, with a decline in those feeling confident they would know what to do if targeted (46%). Younger people also continue to be the most likely victims of fraud. 72% are concerned that the increased use of AI could lead to more sophisticated fraud, with just 24% comfortable with the idea of AI generated financial advice.

The research separately suggests that the cost of living is still the most dominant issue in people’s minds, with a third (34%) noting it as the most important issue they would like to see addressed. With immigration (14%) the second most important issue, ahead of the price of housing (13%).

The role of AI in banking

The research found:

  • 72% of people are concerned that the increased use of AI could lead to more sophisticated financial fraud.
  • Only a quarter (24%) are comfortable with the idea of AI-generated financial advice, with under-45s more comfortable with it than older people.
  • Human support is far more preferable to tech-led support when taking out a mortgage (43% vs 7%), when taking out investments (41% vs 9%), and when opening a savings account (35% vs 16%).
  • People value human support over tech-led support when it comes to reporting serious issues such as suspicious financial transactions on their account (42% vs 8%) and reporting a lost or stolen card (36% vs 14%).


  • Seven in ten (71%) of people report having ever experienced attempted financial fraud, down from 75% in autumn 2022.
  • However, there has been an increase in the number of successful fraud attempts through skimmed card data (+7%); ‘vishing’, or fraudulent voice calls (+4%); and ‘smishing’, or fraudulent text messages (+3%) compared with October 2022.
  • Over a quarter (27%) have fallen victim to financial fraud. This rises to over a third of younger adults (36%) and those living in Dublin (32%).
  • Older people are more susceptible to card skimming, while romance scams are most prevalent against those aged 25-54.
  • Fewer people now (46%) feel confident they would know exactly what to do if targeted by financial fraud, down from 56% in autumn 2022.
  • Six in ten people worry about online shopping fraud, with a quarter (24%) choosing to shop in-store rather than online to reduce the risk. Over a third (35%) choose to pay by cash rather than card to reduce the chance of fraud.

Digital banking and cash

  • 95% use digital banking services, this increases to 100% for 18 – 24 year olds.
  • Under-35s are far more likely to claim they always use mobile payments such as Google Pay or Apple Pay, or digital wallets.
  • Online banking or online apps are still the preferred option (47%) for help managing day-to-day finances, followed by in-person/in-branch (35%), phone (16%) and webchat / social media (3%).
  • More than 80% believe there is still a role for cash for making certain payments – albeit for lower denominations that are more informal, with tipping, children’s pocket money and nights out being the top three.
  • Six in ten feel that when we use cash, we value it more and spend less.

Sentiment on economy and life in Ireland

  • The cost of living is still the most important issue for 34% of people. Immigration is the second most important issue (14%), followed by the price of housing (13%).
  • A third (34%) believe the nation’s economic situation will stay the same over the next year – this figure is unchanged compared with Q1 2024.
  • 30% believe the economy is on the right track (unchanged compared with Q1 2024) while 56% believe we are on the wrong track (down from 58% in Q1 2024).
  • 18% say they are better off now compared with a year ago. This figure was 21% in Q1 2024.
  • However, 28% expect to be worse off in a year from now. This is a reduction on the Q1 2024 figure (32%).

Commenting on the research, Leontia Fannin, Head of Corporate Affairs at PTSB, said:

“Attitudes on financial fraud and the way in which we bank are important indicators of consumer sentiment. It is clear from the latest PTSB Reflecting Ireland report that, even though a majority of people use digital banking services, most people are uneasy about the potential of AI to influence fraud, while bank customers still value human support over any tech solution, especially bigger financial decisions.

The research highlights the generational gap that exists when it comes to the way in which we bank, with younger people more likely to use digital banking services such as mobile payments and digital wallets, and older people tending to prioritise cash.

Ahead of the local and European elections this week, it is also interesting to note that, while the cost of living crisis is still by far the most important societal issue for people, immigration is the second most important issue, followed by housing.”

Claire Cogan, Director of BehaviourWise, said:

“While the popularity of digital banking services is clear, it is also evident that cash continues to play an important role. It is the preferred option for informal occasions like tipping, giving children pocket money, or bringing on a night out. Cash gives people a sense of control. It feels more ‘real’ than digital money, so we feel it more when we part with it.  

Where cash gives a sense of control, digital banking services give confidence. Three quarters (76%) say they feel more confident about managing their money as a result of using them. This is even higher for those under 35 at 83%.

We have more options than ever before when it comes to managing our money. It seems people see a clear role both for cash and digital banking services.”

Editors’ note:

PTSB’s Reflecting Ireland research is conducted every quarter and is based on an online survey of 1,000 adults across Ireland. The sample was nationally representative of the population based on age, gender, social class and religion. Fieldwork was conducted on April 10-26, 2024. Full results are available on request.

Read the full Reflecting Ireland report here.

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