- People in the UK have embraced digital and online banking in a way that those across the rest of Europe have not, new research by CRIF finds
- UK consumers are now twice as likely to prefer to apply for financial products and services online via website or in-app, compared to people in other parts of Europe
- More than half of Europeans still prefer to apply for new financial products in-person
- The research comes during the cost of living crisis where people in the UK are increasingly looking for greater support from their financial providers
UK consumers are significantly ahead of their European counterparts in their embrace of digital forms of banking, new data shows.
The research, commissioned by Europe’s leading provider of consumer and business credit information – CRIF – surveyed thousands of people in countries across the continent including France, the Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Slovakia, and the UK, to better understand their attitudes towards financial services.
The findings show that people in the UK are nearly twice as likely as other Europeans to prefer applying for financial products and services online via website or app, including through online chat or video call functions (59% vs 33%)
It also finds that over half (53%) of Europeans still prefer to apply for new financial products – such as current accounts, credit cards or loans – in-person at a local bank branch. In comparison, in the UK only around one in five (23%) would now prefer to go in-person, showing consumers’ embrace of a digital-first approach to banking.
The data underlines the advancements and innovations that the UK’s financial services and fintech sectors have made when compared to other sectors across Europe. The UK continues to be Europe’s most attractive location for international investment into financial services*, with the UK’s fintech sector securing more than $9bn of investment in the first half of 2022, ahead of Germany, Europe’s second biggest fintech destination, with $2.4bn.**
Sara Costantini, CRIF’s Regional Director for the UK & Ireland, said:
“In a digitally dominated world, the way in which we go about our daily lives has changed. And nowhere more so than in banking and financial services. Our research shows that the UK leads the way in Europe when it comes to embracing digital and online methods, but there is still more we can do to utilise digital technologies to help more UK consumers to manage their finances.
“While some are reluctant to share data as they are worried about fraud and security, we should work to allay these fears. Technologies such as open banking are not only safe but can lay the foundations for increased financial support during the current economic crisis.
“Financial providers must do more to educate their customers about the benefits of online and other digital forms of banking to not only help them during the cost of living crisis, but also to drive widespread financial wellbeing and inclusion for all.”
While the UK’s embrace of digital financial services in comparison to the rest of Europe is positive, the research identifies several key challenges to furthering this progress and providing consumers with better services at a time when the cost of living is putting considerable pressure on people’s finances.
Despite growing demand in the UK for more tailored financial products and services – with 34% saying banks should doing more here to meet people’s specific needs at this time – nearly one in five (18%) are still concerned that they would be sold products which aren’t right for them.
When the issue of data is raised, over two-thirds of UK consumers (67%) express concerns that sharing financial data leaves them more open to fraud, underlining the need to educate and reassure customers that innovations like open banking have high security standards and enables a range of consumer benefits.
However, despite this hesitance, more UK consumers are acknowledging the benefits that sharing more of their financial information with providers can bring. CRIF’s research finds around a third of people in the UK would be prepared to share more financial information if it helped providers to better assess their financial situation and improve their ability to borrow (35%) or increase their credit limit (31%). The fact that there are more than 6 million active users of open banking services in the UK reflects this change*** and makes the country the leading adopter of open banking in Europe. ****
The research also shows that younger generations (18-34s) in the UK are significantly more willing to share their data with financial providers, with 53% saying they’d be comfortable doing so if it enabled them to qualify for higher levels of borrowing.
These findings are part of wider research by CRIF into the cost of living crisis in Europe, and its impact on consumer attitudes towards banking and financial services. The full report, Banking on Banks, will be published later this month.
Union Bank of India goes live with RuPay Credit Card on UPI with Kiya.ai as a technology partner
Nitesh Ranjan, ED Union Bank of India with Rajesh Mirjankar, Managing Director & CEO, Kiya.ai at the launch
Kiya.ai, one of the most innovative digital solutions providers in India, announced that Union Bank of India was among the first banks to launch NPCI’s UPI linked to Rupay Credit Card and UPI Lite on the unified payments interface (UPI) platform with Kiya.ai as their technology partner in this achievement.
The announcement comes after the RBI Governor Shri Shaktikanta Das and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched RuPay credit card on UPI, UPI Lite and Cross Border payments for BBPS at Global Fintech Fest 2022.
Until now, UPI allowed the linking of bank accounts by mapping an account linked with a mobile number and an savings / current account. Earlier in June 2022, the RBI allowed the linking of credit cards with UPI, stating that RuPay credit cards would be initially linked with UPI “to provide additional convenience to users and enhance the scope of digital payments”.
Rajesh Mirjankar, Managing Director & CEO, Kiya.ai, “We are extremely delighted to partner with Union Bank of India in this pilot project of linking RuPay Credit card on UPI. Kiya.ai has partnered with Union Bank of India for various digital payment initiatives including UPI, UPI Lite, UPI linkage to credit card, and sandbox for API banking. The linking of credit card to UPI will significantly enhance high-volume transactions while also increasing average amount per transaction given the ease of using credit facility on UPI. This is a game-changing initiative as it will ensure safe and contactless transactions, reducing the risk of credit card frauds too.”
Mr. Nitesh Ranjan, ED Union Bank of India said, “We are pleased to embrace the decision taken by the Reserve Bank of India and NPCI to enable Rupay credit cards through UPI. Union Bank of India is proud to be a part of this launch. This is a game changer as one would be able to use a credit card for doing payments using UPI. We are excited to partner with Kiya.ai on this journey, and together, we can provide a smooth user experience to customers and make India even more digitally advanced.”
As part of the pilot project, NPCI will integrate the UPI AutoPay feature with credit card transactions to reduce the risk of defaults on credit card payments.
Managing fuel spend during unprecedented volatility
Attributed to Paul Holland, MD of UK Fleet, Allstar Business Solutions
With the price of fuel on everybody’s minds, whether it is the price at the pump or the related price of electricity, it is important to step back and look at broad trends for what they can tell us about what’s ahead.
Volatility has been the norm in fuel prices for as far back as our data goes. Typically, swings might be around 0.5% to 1% per week – hardly something that deserves headlines. There was a general drop in early 2020, for obvious reasons, that took base prices to 77 pence per litre as opposed to their previous level of around 100 pence per litre. Then, in March of 2022, prices surged by 14.9% and after a 2.8% decline in April and a 2.8% increase in May, surged again by 10.8% in June. Prices dropped week on week throughout July, but we are still 44 pence above where we were a year ago.
Although nothing is ever certain when it comes to fuel prices, it is very likely that we could see a return to ‘normal’ over the next year. However, that does not mean an end to volatility – although the huge swings in prices we see at a macro level may subside, week by week, day by day volatility will always be a factor.
For fuel buyers this will be a continuing problem, meaning that budgeting will always be difficult – your company will always have to factor in the possibility that next week every litre of fuel will cost 2-3p more. For individuals this will barely register, but when you are buying huge amounts of fuel for multiple vehicles, possibly diesel too, it will soon become problematic unless you have the right tools in place to ensure complete control of your spend.
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