Consumers unconvinced by online offers

20 September 2004
Research shows 87 per cent of consumers are using the internet to make purchases more now than they did five years ago - but reluctance remains in relation to financial products.

Alliance & Leicester Personal Loans found that nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of shoppers now realise they can get a better price or a discount online.

Over a third of us (38 per cent) buy something online every couple of weeks - and in the last year alone, the average consumer spent £770 on goods via the internet.

However, when it comes to buying financial products it seems people are more reluctant to go online. For example, only 23 per cent of those who have applied for a personal loan over the past five years did so on the internet.

This reluctance appears to be based on several misconceptions: nearly a fifth (19 per cent) believe that they will get a better deal talking face to face with someone.

The head of personal loans at Alliance & Leicester, Andy Bayes, said: "Although it is encouraging that consumers are using the internet for purchases more than ever, it is disappointing that more people don't also appreciate the perks of arranging their personal finances, such as a loan, online."

He added: "It is a myth that a better loan rate can be obtained by talking face-to-face with someone or by approaching the provider you already bank with."

He concluded: "In today's competitive loan market, consumers can get equally good, if not better loan rates online - and it's quick and easy to apply."
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