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U.K. Consumers To Investment Providers: Don’t Make It So Hard

Consumers want their financial providers to smooth the process of investing online.

A recent Curinos survey of more than 500 U.K. consumers revealed frustration with navigating digital investment applications and a lack of post-log-in functionality compared with other financial products. Such problems are two key barriers to making digital investing a habit.

With interest rates rising at an unprecedented rate and customer loyalty lower than ever, digital investment firms face the real risk of losing potential investors to the savings market. Key survey findings include:

  • More than 50% of consumers between the ages of 19-70 say they don’t understand digital investment products enough to open an account. Among those under 35, that number soars to more than 75%.
  • Public site educational content is usually unengaging or confusing, leaving potential customers feeling intimidated or overwhelmed about the prospect and risk of moving their money into investment accounts.
  • Security concerns also contribute to hesitancy in opening an online investment account, even among younger consumers who may be more comfortable with digital financial transactions.

Figure 1: Younger consumers are concerned about risk. Older consumers worry about digital security.

Source: Curinos Investment Survey, September 2022​
Note: Consumers who don’t now invest

Figure 2: All customers feel they need more investment knowledge.

Source: Curinos Investment Survey, September 2022​
Note: Consumers who don’t now invest

The Barriers

Consumers report a long list of gripes when it comes to digital investment providers. Older customers typically found the application processes to be too long, while younger customers were also put off by not being able to invest immediately after opening an account.

Furthermore, most investors say they use their desktop and mobile channels to access their account but consider servicing on mobile platforms to be subpar. Several traditional providers don’t even offer mobile apps and the functionality is often very limited when they do.

Figure 3: Pulling The Plug

Source: Curinos Investment Survey, September 2022​

Figure 4: Double Duty

Figure 5: Servicing Headaches

How To Fix It

The survey results make clear that consumers are willing to switch providers to get the right investment tools. To retain customers or attract new ones, Curinos suggests that providers offer:

  • Digestible guides to investing
  • Explanation of concepts such as risk and rate of returns
  • Engaging content on different types of investments

For younger customers:

  • Offer price-related promotions to attract new customers
  • Stress low fees, provide fee calculator
  • Create an effective mobile process
  • Make chat function available in the application form
  • Demonstrate the benefits of the digital service

For older customers:

  • Offer calculator tools that allow applicants to explore the benefits of investing over saving
  • Promote digital services in a visually engaging way
  • Emphasize simplicity of service
  • Provide simple digital support
  • Reassure the customer about security
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