Mr and Mrs Smith Go Online, as Internet Technology Moves from Fantasy to Normality
According to NOP World, 48% of all Internet users have researched or purchased financial products such as insurance and loans on the internet, or used online banking facilities. In April, NOP World had already recorded estimates of 28 million people online in Great Britain, with 13.5 million exploiting the Web for their financial requirements.
NOP World's report showed that of the financial activity, most was research related; as 84% of Internet users seeking financial services used the Internet to gather information, utilising sites such moneynet.co.uk and moneysavingexpert.com. Over half of the users surfing the Web for financial information were happy to contact suppliers via their websites and e-mail.
Although only 3.3 million consumers bought loans and insurance online last year, NOP state that confidence in buying such products over the internet is growing, with recent figures showing an increase of 43% in people researching, then purchasing online.
Internet banking is also increasing in significance. There are now over 10.3 million consumers managing their bank accounts online, a result of increased confidence for the consumer and simplification of front-end technology by financial organisations and providers.
Despite the positive news, finance companies could go further in encouraging consumers to take up the internet as a tool to manage their finances. NOP World has additionally reported that many online accounts remain dormant stating that the problem affects all banks "even specialist online providers, with dormancy rates ranging from as low at 10% to as high as 80%". Moneynet.co.uk, Moneyextra and Moneyfacts.co.uk, online comparison and information websites, specialising in personal finance, have already tried to resolve the issue of consumer apathy and financial lethargy by introducing product guides to explain complex terminology.
About our Rachel:
Rachel writes for the personal finance blog Cashzilla: http://www.cashzilla.co.uk
Rachel has all her own teeth.
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