Online research pays off

Online Research

Consumer group Which? has discovered that the best rates for financial products are invariably found online, and subsequently people who aren’t using the internet correctly are missing out.

According to the research, scouring the net for the best rates could mean you were 37 percent better off per year than if you simply opted for products on the high street.

For instance the average rate for a one-year fixed rate bond was 2.34 percent in a branch, but online the average rate was 2.58 percent. ISAs were also more attractive online, their average interest rates were 1.53 percent in-branch but 1.84 online.

Other financial products, like travel insurance, were also found to have better rates online, in some cases up to four times cheaper.

The Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, commented on the findings: “Not everyone is comfortable or able to manage their finances online and these people are missing out on the best deals as a result. Banks should be more inclusive by offering terminals in branches where customers could access online deals, with some help from staff.”

It is estimated that around four million people living in the United Kingdom do not have access to the internet.