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Australians are more comfortable using their online financial services, and are increasingly using their mobile devices to make financial choices, a recent report found.
The joint study released by InMobi and YouGov’s revealed 84 per cent of Gen Y (aged 25-34 years), said they use online financial services, with 80 per cent well of mobile users well into the forties, and remains at 70 per cent for those aged 55 or over.
In the older age categories, though, most interaction is via a desktop or laptop computer. Only those under 35 prefer to download a mobile app than use a website on a larger screen. 39 per cent of those aged 25-34 year preferred an app, compared to just 4 percent of those aged 55 and over.
When it comes to sources of financial advice, almost half of all respondents listed bank websites and third party financial services websites as one of the most important sources they refer to, up from seeking advice from friends and relatives (46 per cent) or from visiting or calling up a bank branch (35 per cent).
Financial consumers are also increasingly prepared to sign-up for new financial services online. In all age categories more respondents said they preferred to sign up via the web than in person.
Meanwhile hidden fees were cited as the overwhelming reason for respondents to consider switching their financial services provider. It ranked highly across all age categories, averaging 53 per cent of all respondents.
According to InMobi’s VP and general manager AU/NZ, Jon White, the survey shows consumers are looking for simple product information and transparency in the increasingly cluttered finance sector.
“People feel online comparison is the best way to find impartial information about products and services without a hard sell included," he said. "That’s why just 13 percent preferred advice from a bank’s personal advisor as a trusted source of information. It’s the ability to anonymously compare prices, in their own time and space, that many people are seeking”.
YouGov’s country head of ANZ, Sej Patel, said the research highlights an online savvy nation that is prepared to embrace mobility and online when interacting with the finance sector.
“The industry understands the need for applications and services that give the user control, but this research also highlights the need for transparency in pricing," he said. "Buyers are researching extensively online, then talking to family and friends, and it’s not until the later stages of their decision-making process that they engage with financial advisors or visit a bank branch, if they do at all. In that sense, the early provision of timely information, whether through advertising or a website, is essential for the sector.”
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