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Who is going to pay for the convenience?

02 September 2005

More than nine out of ten (1) Britons think identity checks for people taking out a financial product are important but nearly one in two people say it's a hassle according to the latest research from credit report service MyCallcredit.

Almost half the people surveyed said they would prefer it if the checks could be done electronically and one in five said they would be prepared to pay for the improved service.

MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:

"People know they need to prove who they are when they take out a financial product to stop fraudsters - and they're happy to do it.

"They'd just be a lot happier if it could be done electronically so they didn't have to post off their passport or spend their lunchtimes watching their documents being photocopied.

"All financial institutions can prove the identity of their customers electronically for the equivalent of the cost of a sandwich. Our research shows it would certainly win them some brownie points with their customers."

Key Findings
  • Overall 45.7 per cent of people said proving their ID when they took out a financial product was inconvenient.
  • 54.2 per cent of men compared to 43.3 per cent of women said electronic ID verification would make life easier.
  • And slightly more men than women would be prepared to pay for improved service, 20.4 per cent against 17.6 per cent.
  • The vast majority of both sexes, 62.3 per cent overall, thought the product provider should pay to improve their service.
  • Scots are the most annoyed by having to prove their identity and the most likely to pay for an electronic service with 25.1 per cent saying they would delve into their own pockets compared to 19 per cent nationally.
  • Those living in the North and Borders are least hassled by having to prove their identity but the third most likely region to pay for an electronic service, 24.2 per cent compared to the national average of 19 per cent.
  • Employment status had a huge effect on people's perception of convenience with more than twice as many people in full time employment saying proving ID was a hassle when compared to part time employees.
Editors Notes
  1. The FSA's Consumers' views of proof of identity checks research dated June 2005 found that more than nine out of ten people think it's important for financial services companies to carry out ID checks to combat money laundering (fig 18).
  2. The research was carried out between 23 and 28 August 2005 among 1058 adults by NEMS market research for MyCallcredit.

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