Expectations & Experiences Consumer Trends Research from Fiserv
AI, payments innovation and the shifting financial ecosystem
What merchants and financial service providers need to know about AI and evolving financial experiences to better meet consumers’ needs.
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  • Consumers are using conversational and generative AI to handle a variety of situations, including gaining insights into and managing their finances
  • Debit cards are king, being used more than 1/3 of the days each month, but payments like mobile wallets and P2P are also leveling up with consumers
  • Rates and rewards motivate consumers on which credit card to use, and when it comes to switching, 40% did so due to cash-back offers and 35% for better interest rates
  • Over 60% of consumers consider their financial situation to be the same or better compared to 12 months ago with income and expense changes as the top catalysts

Increase in AI adoption means increasing opportunities for financial service providers

As conversational (55%) and generative (32%) AI adoption continues to grow among consumers, many are realizing the benefits it brings to managing their finances.

Consumers’ generative AI financial uses

Budgeting 24%, Investment ideas 21%, Loan information 17%, Tax preparation 13%, Insurance selection 13%, Retirement planning 11%, Homeownership 10%

Even though interest and engagement with AI is strong, opportunity remains to improve comfort with financial institutions integrating AI into banking activities with 41% not comfortable with any AI-based banking tools.

Comfort with AI-based banking activities

Personalized guidance 47%, Fraud detection 35%, Customer service 23%, Evaluating loan/credit applications 10%

Despite AI adoption, concerns remain 

For many consumers, their biggest fears of AI mirror prior emerging technology trends over the past decade.

Security and privacy
Losing personal touch
Potential for bias

What do consumers have to say about AI helping them with their finances?

quotation marks
Gives a well-rounded look with all accounts gathered in one place.
AI helped me figure out a good amount to put into a savings account.
Satisfied with basic information. Security issues are a concern.

Consumers have their payment preferences for everyday purchases

Not all payment options are created equal. Debit, credit and cash are the methods consumers use most often while P2P and digital wallets have gained traction. And, while 37% of consumers have used checks and 13% have used BNPL in the past month, neither of those methods is among those consumers turn to most.

Most used payment methods

42% Debit card
26% Credit card

14% Cash


6% P2P


5% Mobile wallet


1% Check

Looking at the current state of credit cards

Why consumers use only one card versus multiple

horizontal bar graph showing the different reasons consumers use one card versus multiple

Credit cards are commonplace

Credit cards influence consumers’ everyday purchases. Nearly two-thirds of consumers report having used a credit card in the past month and 62% of cardholders say they have used one in the last 7 days.


Whether carrying a single credit card or a wallet full of them, consumers are methodical when it comes to opening and using credit card accounts. 

Why consumers choose to use a card for a particular purchase

bubble chart showing the different rewards that influence a consumer's choice of which card to use

Rewards drive card selection

Among multiple card carriers, rewards are the primary influencer when it comes to deciding what card to use for a purchase.


In fact, consumers are nearly twice as likely to look at the rewards they’ll receive from a purchase than the impact it will have on their current balance.


Why consumers switch cards

horizontal bar chart showing different factors that drive consumers to switch cards

Card switchers look for value

Rewards aren’t just driving consumers to pick a certain card for a purchase, they are also one of the deciding factors when it comes to switching to a new primary card.


The top factor, however, is cash back. Four in ten consumers look at the potential for cash back when switching cards, followed by a better interest rate. 


Consumers remain consistent with their financial outlook

Ask consumers about their current financial situation compared to a year ago and you’ll find that, despite inflation and rising interest rates, only one in three feel worse off.
25% say better off, 39% say about the same, 33% say worse off

What is driving these changes?

Among those better off versus those worse off, the impact of changes to income and major non-routine expenses is clear.
Those better off
Income change  52%
Major non-routine expenses change  10%
Employment change  20%
Routine expense change  27%
Family structure change  17%
Those worse off
30%  Income change
20%  Major non-routine expenses change
25%  Employment change
28%  Routine expense change
16%  Family structure change
Even more impressive is how consumers are using their current financial outlook to drive their views on the future. Specifically, most consumers are showing a direct correlation between how they have fared over the last 12 months and how that impacts where they expect they will be 12 months from now.
76% expect to remain better off 12 months from now
67% expect to remain the same financially 12 months from now
32% expect to be even worse off 12 months from now