Complex FI products need human touch: Forrester

August 3, 2015

SHOREVIEW, Minn. (8/3/15)--Consumers may be dependent on online research when learning about financial products, but the more complex the product is, the more likely they will turn to a human being for help.

New research from Forrester indicates that consumers prefer to research credit card, personal loans and mortgages online while valuing word of mouth from family and friends for checking and savings account advice.

Consumers also want to search for products on all mobile channels and have the information available instantly, Forrester said.

Forrester surveyed more than 3,500 U.S. adults who had, in the last 12 months, either opened a checking account, individual retirement account or certificate of deposit, or applied for and obtained a new mortgage, refinance, home equity loan, auto loan, credit card or personal loan/line of credit.

In “Solving the Omni-Channel Dilemma: The Digital Consumers’ Path to Purchase a Financial Product,” Forrester reported that when completing a mortgage or personal loan application, 41% of respondents look to a branch or physical option. The many credit card options online lead to nearly a 60% completion rate digitally.

Other findings:

  • Consumers will do their research online and with their personal connections before engaging with the financial institution;
  • Credit card customers prefer to research and purchase online. The commoditized nature of credit cards makes it easier to finalize the process without speaking with a representative;
  • Shorter, less intensive application processes would improve pathway to purchase for all consumers; and
  • Tools and calculators play a large role in decision-making.