Consumers of financial services products have gone increasingly digital in the COVID-19 era, with almost 80% now preferring online access. Customers are also demanding better value for money from providers, a KPMG Australia survey of over 1,500 people has found.
Consumers of financial services products have gone increasingly digital in the COVID-19 era, with almost 80% now preferring online access. Customers are also demanding better value for money from providers, a KPMG Australia survey of over 1,500 people has found.

The report found that nearly half of respondents’ financial positions had declined in the pandemic, and 68% had reduced both their overall and discretionary spend.

There was still a degree of optimism, with more than two-thirds either confident or neutral to the prospects of a recovery over the next six months, although those whose jobs had been impacted were more focused on ‘getting through’ the crisis.

Rising expectations was a key theme in the study – a majority now expected better value and more flexibility in the provision of financial services. Consumers have been increasingly shopping around for the best value products and are more likely to switch providers, with younger Australians financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis much more active in doing so.

The survey found that the pre-COVID-19 trend towards increased online access of insurance, superannuation and financial planning services has accelerated during the shutdown, with consumers of all ages increasingly see digital as the ‘new normal’. There is however a clear generational divide with most under-40s believing digital leads to better quality engagement while just 29% of over-65s agreeing.

According to the study by KPMG, insurers have perhaps been most affected in terms of consumer expectations in the pandemic, with many people now more aware of what their policies do and do not cover.

More than 70% wanted better value for money from their insurance, and one-third of consumers are either switching providers or considering cancelling policies in the next 12 months – 20% health, 25% life, and 38% income protection.

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