People in the UK are ahead of their European counterparts in their adoption of digital forms of banking, but financial providers need to do more to educate their customers, research has found.
Research sponsored by CRIFthe European Consumer and Business Credit Reporting Society, surveyed thousands of people in France, the Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Slovakia and the United Kingdom, to better understand their attitudes to with regard to financial services.
UK consumers are almost twice as likely as other Europeans to prefer to subscribe to financial products and services online via a website or app, including online chat or video call features (59% vs. 33%).
In Europe, more than half of consumers still prefer to apply for new financial products – such as checking accounts, credit cards or loans – in person at a local bank branch. Yet in the UK only around 23% would now prefer to go in person.
Sara Costantini, CRIF Regional Director for UK & Ireland, said: “In a digitally driven world, the way we go about our daily lives has changed. And nowhere more than in banking and financial services. Our research shows that the UK is leading the way in Europe when it comes to adopting digital and online methods, but we can still do more to use digital technologies to help more UK consumers manage their finances.
“While some are reluctant to share data because they worry about fraud and security, we must work to allay those fears. Technologies such as open banking are not only safe, but can lay the groundwork increased financial support during the current economic crisis.
Financial providers need to do more to educate their customers about the benefits of online banking and other digital forms, Costantini says, not only to help them during the cost of living crisis, but also to support overall financial well-being. and inclusion for all.
Ways to improve
The research also identifies several ways banks can provide consumers with better services at a time when the cost of living is putting a huge strain on people’s finances.
Although 34% say banks should do more to provide people with more suitable financial products and services, nearly one in five still fear they will be sold products that are not suitable for them.
More than two-thirds of UK consumers are also concerned that sharing financial data makes them more vulnerable to fraud, underscoring the need to educate and reassure customers that innovations such as open banking have standards. high safety standards and offer a range of consumer benefits.
happy to share
Despite concerns, a third of Britons would be willing to share more financial information if it helped providers better assess their financial situation and improve their ability to borrow (35%) or increase their credit limit (31%) .
Younger generations (18-34) in the UK are more likely to share their data with financial providers, with 53% saying they would be comfortable doing so if it qualified them for higher borrowing levels.
CRIF’s full report on the cost of living crisis in Europe and its impact on consumer attitudes towards banking and financial services – Betting on the banks – will be released later this month.