22 August 2000

According to a new survey by MORI, two million Britons are now buying financial services via the internet. – an increase of 11% compare with the preceding six months.

The report’s sponsor, online insurer Screentrade, claims the results show consumers to be undeterred by online security worries. The company attributes the increase in financial product sales to a rise in general usage of the web, with the number of respondents using the internet rising from 26% to 32%.

One in seven adults, 6.3 million in all, had used the internet in the past twelve months to seek information about financial services. During the preceding MORI poll, only 3.1m claimed to have done so. Purchasing car, home or travel insurance and arranging credit cards were the most popular activities, accounting for 11% of online financial service transactions.

However, Screentrade admits that more complex financial products such as ISAs or mortgages are “hardly selling at all”. It is a “key challenge” to boost purchases of such items, it says.

The report’s findings are at odds with another online survey by Interactive Investor International which reveals that 59% of respondents are “not confident about the security of internet banking”, although 41% contradict this view.

This data tallies approximately with another MORI poll earlier this month for the National Consumer Council in which 55% of internet users responding opined that online was the riskiest way to shop. Only 3% of all respondents said they shopped regularly online.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)