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Peer2Peer Finance News | May 29, 2017

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Half of consumers spend just 20 minutes applying for finance online

Half of consumers spend just 20 minutes applying for finance online
Marc Shoffman

FINANCE providers risk losing customers if they fail to invest in their online offering, Equifax has warned.

A survey by the credit reference agency found that half of consumers do not want to spend more than 20 minutes applying for financial products online, highlighting the need to provide an efficient service.

The poll found consumers expect immediate decisions on finance such as loans and credit cards and want to be able to manage their account remotely.

A third of respondents wanted an immediate decision on short-term loans, 26 per cent expected to know straight away on credit cards and 18 per cent felt they should get a fast response for a bank loan.

37 per cent of consumers even felt they should hear back on a mortgage application within a day.

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As well as a need for speed, 81 per cent of consumers wanted to be able to manage their account online or through apps.

Many want to do away with paperwork, with 35 per cent preferring to submit copies of documents electronically, while 13 per cent said they would prefer companies to have direct access to this additional information such as through a bank branch. However, 31 per cent were still to happy to take hard copies to a store or branch.

“As the need for financial service providers to increase the level of checks, questions and information required to ensure online applications are genuine and suitable, consumer patience is being tested,” said Jake Ranson, banking & financial institutions director at Equifax UK.

“The reluctance for half of the population to spend more than 20 minutes filling in an online form, combined with the growing demand for a prompt response, shows companies need to invest in their application processes to improve the customer experience.

“Companies who fall behind with their online solutions could lose potential customers for good and it’s important that they make the most of new data sharing initiatives such as open banking to deliver better services for today’s busy consumers.”

Read more: UK consumer credit growth hits 11-year high 
Read more: Fitch upbeat on UK consumer loans despite Brexit