British consumers are becoming more comfortable with the hi-tech lifestyle and are increasingly conducting their financial affairs from a range of Internet access devices.
Findings detailed in a new report from pollsters Mori on behalf of Internet bank Egg reveal that the British population has grown out of its initial excitement over new technologies and is becoming more sophisticated and selective in its demands from these devices.
Mori interviewed over 2000 people for its survey and suggests that PCs, mobile telephones, PDAs and digital television are by now so ubiquitous that they have taken on a functional status similar to a toaster or a kettle.
Mark Nancarrow, chief operating officer, Egg, believes the findings mark a significant shift in consumer attitudes to new technology. "This report paints a very clear picture of a nation growing up with technology," he says. "Digital life, it would seem, has arrived."
The Egg Index is a new feature of the report and measures the change in the proportion of British adults using interactive technologies. Findings reveal that the British population is becoming more comfortable with conducting their finances using new interactive technologies. In the six months from September 2000 to April 2001, the Egg Index has seen that the number of British adults conducting online banking has risen by around a million.
Insurance is one of the products for which applications are most often made and it is set to grow even more within the next three years, according to the report. The Egg report finds that 17% of Internet users have applied for or accessed insurance online, and 22% of all adults say they would feel comfortable doing so in the next three years.
Nearly 5 million people say they have now arranged or serviced a financial product over the Internet.
Egg has correspondingly seen 370,000 new customers over its six-month reporting period to 30th June 2001.
The report also tracks the rapid uptake of digital television with 5 million new users over the last six months, bringing the total to a third of the British adult population. An additional 13% of respondents envisage accessing digital TV in the next six months, totalling nearly half the British adult population.
Robert Worcester, chairman of Mori suggests: "There is no doubt that digital television is opening up interactive technologies to new population segments which would not have considered PC-based access to the web before. It is only a matter of time before the boundary between PC Internet and interactive television will be blurred."
Egg's Nancarrow notes that the time taken for the general public to become confident with new technology has been condensed. "Both the telephone and the television took several decades to become an everyday item in the majority of homes and the PC twenty years. But in just 10 years the mobile phone is rapidly moving to that position, with digital television doing so in just two years."