British consumers are becoming more confident with conducting financial transactions online and are showing significant interest in digital payment and aggregation services.
Findings detailed in a new report from pollsters Mori on behalf of Internet bank Egg reveal approximately 5.5 million Britons now bank online, a six-month increase of 37.5%, since the last Egg index was conducted.
Mori interviewed just under 2000 for its survey and suggests there is a strong link between experience of surfing online and the more comfortable people feel about using the Internet for more sophisticated and transactional purposes.
Mark Nancarrow, chief operating officer, Egg, says: "Consumers have developed a liking for the value and flexibility that digital technology affords them, and are becoming increasingly confident in the possibilities of transacting online."
The Egg Index measures the change in the proportion of British adults using interactive technologies and makes comparisons throughout the report with the last Egg Index conducted in April 2001. Findings reveal that 54% of the British adult population now use the Internet, digital TV or WAP mobile phones for personal use - an increase of six per cent since April. Of these, around 15 million consumers (34%) are using digital TV to go online.
Nearly half of all Internet users (46%) say they have either bought or serviced a financial product over the Web. The three most popular of these are insurance, credit cards and savings accounts. Motor tops the insurance stakes with approximately two million having taken out an online car insurance policy to date. The Egg report finds 53% of Internet users say they would consider arranging financial products online in the next two years.
The report has also identified a high level of interest and anticipation in new technologies which are not yet widely available on the UK market. Thirty-six per cent of adults are interested in using account aggregation technology to access and view all their financial products, regardless of being with different providers, on a single Internet site. Thirty-seven per cent say they would use a single Web site which enables them to choose and compare between financial products from a range of suppliers.
Similarly, over a quarter of Britons (27%) would swap their wallets for digital payment solutions which would involve biometric identification such as iris or fingerprint recognition.