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Last week we unveiled results from our inaugural UK Consumer Digital Index, a report that’s the first of its kind to examine the extent to which UK consumers’ financial and digital capability are linked.

The Index, developed in association with digital skills charity Go ON UK, Accenture, and Toynbee Hall, took the unique opportunity to combine the behavioural data of one million customers with attitudinal and qualitative research from a cross-section of the consumer population.

We hope the report informs a better understanding of the benefits of digital inclusion, as well as the barriers surrounding it, and whether there is a link between digital and financial measures for all demographic groups in the UK.

Irrespective of geography, age and circumstance, a person’s financial situation has a huge impact on the way they are able to live. It impacts day-to-day welfare and wider wellbeing.

Winners and losers of the ‘Digital Dividend’

Generation X (those born between the early 1960s to mid 1980s) is reaping the biggest benefits online, but it’s the over 60s who have the most to gain digitally. This age group is financially savvy and adept at saving and using a variety of financial products and services, yet are failing to realise that they could make huge savings online through price comparison sites.

Looking at the spending habits of those with low and high financial capability, digital ‘know-how’ has a huge impact on what a person can save. When it comes to utility bills, the more digitally savvy a person may be, the less they will spend in comparison to their non-digital peers as they shop around for the best online deals.

Commenting on the report, Martha Lane Fox,Chair of digital skills charity, Go ON UK says:  “It’s unacceptable that the people who can benefit the most from what our digital age has to offer are currently missing out on making huge online financial savings.”


A synopsis:

– The UK’s first Consumer Digital Index – the largest ever data-led study of one million people – measures the link between people’s financial wellbeing and their digital know-how

– Over two-thirds (70%) of people say the internet helps them save around £62 per month (or £744 per year)

– People whose annual income is less than £15,000 can save £516 – a significant proportion of their earnings. This could cover the cost of ten weekly food shops for the family, fill the car with petrol ten times over, or pay for nearly half a year’s dual fuel bill

– With financial stress ranked as the primary cause of mental health issues in the UK – four out of five (86%) people who manage their money online say they “worry less” if they have more choice and control around their real-time money management

– Digitally savvy customers can save 5-10% on their utility bills (the equivalent of six weeks of utilities each year), which is particularly important given the continuing increase in fuel costs

– There’s a £3.7bn savings opportunity for UK adults each year, if the 7.1 million UK people who do not have a bank account plus those who are also digitally excluded were to capitalise on the opportunity to benefit

– Generation X is the clear financial winner of our digital age being savvy at shopping around online and confident in money management

– Based on the UK’s projected growth in digital the divide could deepen for those who are already financially and digitally excluded – meaning a risk to financial and personal wellbeing

Download the full report

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