Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
Do you remember the survey you did for us a few weeks ago about how confident you are with online banking, what you want from the financial companies and what they could do more of?
Well, we got those stats together and I told quite a few financial companies about it at a speech for the Tax Incentivised Savings Association (TISA) last week.
Here’s some of my speech
Of course, you’re not the only ones. People of all ages are using the internet and using their mobiles more and more for everything and that certainly includes many financial services. In fact…
When we asked you what you wanted more of from your banks, the number one response by far was more financial guidance – 35% wanted that – and this from people who describe themselves as either very or quite confident in managing their money. That’s you!
The second thing that you asked for was to make it easier to move to other providers – 28% of you wanted that – which is odd given that the ability to switch to another bank at least did improve hugely last year. But again, the message doesn’t seem to have got through. There’s only been a 2% take-up of the new switching regime across the country.
You also said you wanted better access to credit reports – 20% ticked that which is interesting.
It seems that you’re wanting easy access to these reports through your banks. At the moment we have to go through the effort of signing up to Experian or one of the others.
According to our survey, 17% of people want more help in the branches…although 16% want less need to go into branches.
I mentioned above that there has been only a 6% decline in branch transactions – even though there’s a 10% increase in log-ins to internet banking per day.
Also, according to the Payments Council, consumers last year chose coins and notes for 52% of their transactions
It’s like us wanting bobbies in the beat. We want to interact with human beings.
I think that there is an opportunity for the high street banks here – not just in the digital space. Those that are kept need to be opened up to provide more than just deposits and checking.
Maybe they should take a leaf out of Apple’s book – have a Financial Genius bar, have talks on ‘managing your money’. These could be connected to a money management or investing app too.
Speaking of investing, from our survey we found that even you guys aren’t keen on managing your investments and pensions online.
Only 17% manage your pensions online and under a third do your investments there as opposed to two thirds doing savings and insurance online.
There has to be a way to digitize this so that people will find it more straightforward to manage these more complex products online. If there could be some education element to them as well that would really help – particularly with pensions which grow more complex and confusing every day
Of course, report after report shows that we are using mobile devices more every year.
It’s the convenience of using a mobile or a tablet to do a quick check on accounts that does it. If you can do things on the move with a light product in your pocket rather than wait to get to your home computer…most of us will.
But the problem with mobile technology – and with the internet banking – is trust and security.
I was really surprised that over 80% of our respondents either had complete trust or some trust that their details were safe online.
Hey I do online banking all the time – I love it.
But do I think it’s fundamentally secure?
No! Financial institutions are generally large and rich but even they are not immune to the global criminal fraternity and their dogged determination to break in.
So while it’s clear that there is a huge opening for financial institutions to provide new, mobile and online solutions for customers, I think the most important thing to consider when developing these products is protection.
I suggest that financial companies also address the issue of anti-virus, anti-fraud software for mobiles and tablets. Most of us have anti-virus software for our computers and laptops but who thinks of it for mobiles and tablets? Given the number of people who are using mobiles and tablets to do their financial transactions I think we need this!
I would also like to see the industry become even more responsive to fraud when it happens and, if it’s possible, have much more direct communication with each other as well as with the police and Actionfraud.
There is more that could and should be effected. It’s probably something that needs to be done at Government level, particularly because of data protection, but the financial sector needs to lobby for it. There must be billions being lost just through a lack of knowledge sharing.
So there needs to be multi-sector co-operation now to stop the fraudsters who are getting away with a lot more than they should, as we all know! There’s got to be a common sense solution to this.