Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2015
Thesis number: 13968
Trustworthiness and trust in the context of technology-aided financial services
|Title:||Trustworthiness and trust in the context of technology-aided financial services|
|Year:||2015 Language: eng|
|Department:||Department of Marketing|
|Index terms:||markkinointi; marketing; palvelut; service; rahoitus; financing; luottamus; trust|
|Key terms:||trustworthiness; trust; financial services; marketing|
In the past two years several Finnish banks have introduced a technology-aided saving and investment advisory meeting. In these meetings, materials and documents are provided through online channels, but the actual discussion is done over the phone. The novelty of this context requires qualitative study how trustworthiness can be signaled and trust established. Moreover, qualitative methods are called for to understand the complex, intertwined phenomena of trustworthiness and trust from individual's point of view.
Therefore, this Master's thesis has three objectives. First, this study aims to shed light on the complex phenomena of trustworthiness and trust in the presented context, and to see what kind of interplay there is between these two phenomena and their elements. Second, the goal is to understand how trustworthiness can be signaled and trust established through technology-aided channels. Third, the aim is to see if there are differences between consumers' ways to judge the trustworthiness of the service provider, and what elements of trust are important for them.
Literature analysis is conducted to gain a thorough understanding of the phenomena of trustworthiness and trust in existing literature. Thereafter, the empirical data to address the research problem is gathered in eight semi-structured interviews among the customers of a large Nordic retail bank. Then the collected interview data is analyzed qualitatively with thematic analysis.
First, this study indicates that the constructs of trustworthiness and trust might support the establishment of each other. Thus, the relationship between trustworthiness and trust seems to be much more complex than understood in previous literature.
Second, the findings of this study also suggest that consumers emphasize different elements of trust. For some consumers it is essential to build interpersonal trust in the financial advisor, whereas for others institutional trust is more vital. Therefore, technology-aided channel also has different effects on consumers' perceptions of trustworthiness and trust.
Third, the findings of this study show that there are differences between consumers in the ways they judge the trustworthiness of the financial advisor and what elements of trust are important for them. The findings also suggest that consumers' level of involvement might be linked to what elements of trustworthiness and trust are vital for them.
This Master's thesis is one of the first studies trying to clarify how financial advisors can signal their trustworthiness in a technology-aided meeting, and what is the impact of this new channel on consumers' trust in the financial service provider. Moreover, this Master's thesis makes a theoretical contribution by showing that quantitative methods are not sufficient to understand the complex, intertwined phenomena of trustworthiness and trust. Most importantly this study contributes to existing literature by indicating that trustworthiness and trust as phenomena cannot be generalized to be the same for all consumers.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.