Digitally savvy Brits are the biggest users of tech in Europe, yet they crave more digital means of managing their money, a major new report from investment platform eToro and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has revealed.
Digitally savvy Brits are the biggest users of tech in Europe, yet they crave more digital means of managing their money, a major new report from investment platform eToro and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has revealed.eToro’s new Digital Transformation Index (DTI) found the UK to be the number one user of tech on the continent, coming top of the pile when it comes to card payments and use of digital education platforms in particular.
Despite already being the leading nation when it comes to fintech use — and also being home to Europe’s leading fintech hub in London — the overwhelming majority of Brits say they want new and novel digital ways of managing their cash.
Some 60 per cent of Brits want to see the growth of fintech, through the expansion of mobile payments, online investing platforms and online banking, compared to just 10 per cent who are opposed.
The levels of support are highest among younger adults in the UK, for example 63 per cent of 35-54 years old support fintech expansion compared to 55 per cent of over 55s.
eToro’s DTI surveyed more than 18,000 Europeans to determine consumers’ level of engagement with tech and the prospects for further digital adoption in nine major European countries. It also contains detailed analysis of data issued by the European Central Bank and the European Commission.
The UK’s leading position when it comes to digital money management is underlined by the high volume of transactions carried out by card. In 2019, the value of Brits’ card payments totaled approximately GBP1.1 billion (equivalent to EUR995 billion), making it the leading nation by far when it comes to paying with plastic. In France, its nearest rival, the figure was just EUR609 billion.
The UK scores third highest in the Index when it comes to online banking use. Online banking is the technology most regularly used by all age groups, but it is older respondents who are most confident using it. More than six in ten (62 per cent) over 55s consider themselves very capable of managing their accounts online compared to 52 per cent of 18 to 34-year olds.
The research reveals that the more people use digital technologies, the more capable and confident they become, which prompts even more frequent use. Online banking is a good example of this, as 44 per cent of over 55s say they use it on a regular basis at least four times a week.
In contrast, their level of comfort using mobile payments apps and online investment platforms is considerably lower, as their experience is more limited than younger age groups.
More than seven-in-10 (71 per cent) respondents aged over 55 say they have rarely ever used a mobile payment app compared to just 21 per cent of 18 to 34-year olds. This explains why nearly a third (32 per cent) say they have no capability using them, which is more than three times higher than 18 to 34-year olds.
Meanwhile, the report also found a disparity between age groups regarding the value of transactions they would be comfortable making using mobile payments. Over half (55 per cent) of adults aged under 34 would be happy making a payment in excess of GBP100 on their device compared to only a quarter (25 per cent) of over 55s.
The findings suggest younger people have a greater dependency on fintech and use are more comfortable using a variety of different platforms. But the report finds that nearly one in seven (13 per cent) 18 to 34-year old’s plan to reduce their use of technology, nearly double that of the over 55s.
Yoni Assia, CEO of eToro, says: “We are living in an increasingly digital world and when it comes to managing their money the majority of Brits are embracing the benefits of new technologies that help to make their lives easier.
“Over the past decade we have become accustomed to organising many aspects of our finances from the comfort of our home or even while we’re on the go. The speed of digital transformation means some consumers have adapted more quickly than others and preferences do vary, so it is important that the pace of change does not risk leaving people behind.
“The results of our study show that experience breeds confidence and by making it easier for people to access new technologies with the support in place to help educate them, we are likely to see levels of adoption continue to rise.
“The viability of our digital future relies on our ability to ensure this new world is inclusive, moral and – ultimately – human.”
The report also found that a third of UK adults (32 per cent) say their use of technology increased during the pandemic.
Of this group, a third (33 per cent) of over 55s say it has helped to teach them new skills compared to 27 per cent of 18 to 34-year old’s.
Nearly half (47 per cent) of over 55s meanhwile, say increased use of technology has made their life easier, marginally higher than the 45 per cent share of younger adults.