UK consumers are nearly twice as likely as other European consumers to apply for new financial products and services online, according to new research.
Business credit information provider CRIF, which surveyed 7,000 consumers across Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, and the UK, found that 59% of those in the UK prefer applying for financial products and services online via website or app, including through online chat or video call functions, compared to 33% of Europeans.
The findings also revealed that 53% of Europeans still prefer to apply for new financial products – such as current accounts, credit cards or loans – in-person at a local bank branch, versus only 23% of UK consumers surveyed.
However, the research also identified some barriers to further adoption of digital banking in the UK and Europe, including around data sharing and mis-selling.
While 34% of UK consumers said banks should be doing more here to provide consumers with better services at a time when the cost of living is putting considerable pressure on people’s finances, 18% remain concerned that they would be sold products which aren’t right for them.
Among UK consumers, 67% expressed concerns that sharing financial data leaves them more open to fraud.
However, the research by CRIF also found that 35% of people in the UK would be prepared to share more financial information if it helped providers to better assess their financial situation and improve their ability to borrow, or increase their credit limit (31%).
Sara Costantini, CRIF’s regional director for the UK and Ireland, said: “Our research shows that the UK leads the way in Europe when it comes to embracing digital and online methods, but there is still more we can do to utilise digital technologies to help more UK consumers to manage their finances.
“While some are reluctant to share data as they are worried about fraud and security, we should work to allay these fears. Technologies such as Open Banking are not only safe, but can lay the foundations for increased financial support during the current economic crisis.”
The research revealed that among younger UK generations – those aged 18 to 34-years-old – there is more willingness to share their data with financial providers, with 53% saying they’d be comfortable doing so if it enabled them to qualify for higher levels of borrowing.
Costantini will be speaking about the research at Open Banking Expo’s UK Confex on 20 October in London, in a session titled ‘Embracing Open Banking in a time of crisis. What can the rest of Europe learn from the UK?’. Click here to find out more about the agenda and get your tickets.