When it comes to buying financial services, utilities, or car insurance, just one in five (21%)* favour speaking to a provider in person, while the rest  prefer online dealings.

Despite often complex information, terms and conditions that underpin financial products and services, the vast majority of customers favour online transactions, according new research by Experian.  Car insurance (54%) and utility providers (53%) top the list with consumers saying they prefer to apply online than deal with an individual.

However, four out of five (81%) experience frustration when going through a financial providers’ ‘digital journey’.  The biggest bug-bear for nearly a third of online applicants (29%) was answering all the questions only to be told they did not qualify.

Furthermore, they are unforgiving, with nearly two out of five simply opting to go elsewhere. It also emerged that poor sentiment sticks, with a similar number (29%) avoiding the provider completely in the future.

Over-55s are particularly prone to this behaviour with more than one in three (36%) saying they would avoid providers permanently after a bad experience online.

Ian Cunningham, Managing Director of ID & Fraud at Experian, says: “People want the convenience and flexibility of being able to apply for essential services online – particularly when time is an issue.  For those who get turned down, it’s not necessarily due a bad credit history.  Our research shows that for one in eight (12%) it was because further proof of identification was needed, while for one in nine (11%) there just wasn’t enough information about them.  

“However, more and more people are just giving up on an online provider if they find the experience is too difficult and protracted.  Regardless of the desire to avoid talking to someone, online shoppers still – quite rightly – expect a great customer experience.  With less than one in five (19%) likely to contact the provider to address the issue, it is clear that the rest are ready to go elsewhere if they have the choice. User experience is quickly becoming one of the most important considerations for businesses that have an online offering, but this also has to be balanced with robust security and fraud prevention systems.”

via www.experianplc.com