Manser Payne has a particular interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual agents and has spent several years researching how changes in technologies impact customer interactions within the banking industry. She also explores what customers value and how this value is co-created by firms and consumers.

“I like to figure out why consumers would be interested in conversing with an artificial intelligent agent,” Manser Payne said. “Virtual agents are more than simple chatbots. They use AI to learn, have the ability to express empathy and can perform a lot of customer service functions, just like a human agent. My goal is to find out how that makes consumer feel, because whether they’re ready or not, virtual agents are coming.”

Manser Payne has found that many people, especially younger generations, prefer to bank through digital channels, such as mobile banking apps. However, people still seek human interactions and connections. The purpose of Manser Payne’s research is to find where the perfect middle ground is – a place where virtual agents can handle complex banking activities with human-like responses and emotions.

Manser Payne has been broadly recognized for her research. Her article, “Enhancing the Value Co-Creation Process: Artificial Intelligence and Mobile Banking Platforms,” received the Emerald Publishing’s Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing 2022 Literati Award for Outstanding Paper.

“This manuscript is one of the first papers to empirically investigate the relations that influence the AI value co-creation process and how digital transformation impacts the ways in which firms and consumers co-create value in service ecosystems,” Manser Payne said. “It’s quite an honor to receive this recognition, and I’m grateful that Emerald Publishing values our contribution to AI and co-creation literature.”

In addition, Manser Payne also provides commentary on the WalletHub website, a personal finance website that focuses on reviews for financial advisors. She most recently contributed to a piece about HSBC Bank credit cards, offering valuable insight into HSBC’s position in the U.S. credit card market.

She also recently joined the editorial board for Mountain Plains Journal of Business and Technology, an electronic journal for academicians and practicing professionals in an area of business and its associated technologies. Manser Payne is an active reviewer for academic journals on topics pertaining to artificial intelligence and mobile banking.

Manser Payne said she is excited to continue her research and has a few papers currently in the works. In one particular paper, Manser Payne examins different AI uses within the banking industry. Last summer, she had the opportunity to present this paper at the Frontiers in Service Conference in Boston, a premier international marketing conference.

In another paper, Manser Payne explores a new, but highly regarded, theory on why customers may accept AI-enabled service robots based on the bot’s ability to address fundamental service needs, as well as the social-emotional needs of the consumer.

“My work will provide empirical data to either help support or disprove this theory,” Manser Payne said. “So far, I have not seen empirical research on this theory, so my research will help our understanding of why consumers are willing to engage with a service robot.”

She is also working on a project focused on entrepreneurship resiliency and recently presented her research model at the Great Plains Conference in Kearney, Nebraska.

Ultimately, Manser Payne’s interest in AI continues to grow as technology continues to be integrated into the banking industry, and she hopes that her research will progress the academic discussions surrounding consumers’ perceptions of AI and virtual agents.

“I hope that my research creates knowledge,” Manser Payne said. “As a researcher, I build upon the work of researchers who came before me. In turn, I hope that future researchers can expand on my work and expand the knowledge even further.

“I also hope that my work can move beyond the academic fields,” Manser Payne added. “I think that my work, and that of my colleagues, can help the industry develop virtual agents that consumers would actually like to interact with as much as a human agent.”

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