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Australians think banks and insurers do a mediocre job online



Forrester data shows that OK is the new excellent.

Australians love online banking, and for most of us, it's the primary way that we interact with our bank. Perhaps that's why we don't think most banks and insurers are doing a very good job of it.

Survey data from Forrester Research suggests that despite the ubiquity of online service, Aussie companies haven't nailed the concept. According to the survey, which examined customer experience across five industries based on responses from 8,982 Australians who had used online services, the best we're doing is on the borderline between "OK" and "good".

To be fair, that rating was assigned to banks, who did better than any of the other industries covered by the study. Credit card providers, insurers, traditional retailers and online-only retailers were all hovering somewhere between "poor" and "OK". And in most cases, opinions are virtually unchanged between 2015 (credit card providers improved slightly, while car and home insurance actually went backwards). You can see the full results in the chart below:


So what's going on here? Forrester suggests that a large proportion of Australians are "convenience conformers", meaning we want technology to make our lives easier but we don't actively go seeking out services that work in new ways. Once a service has gained broad acceptance, it can see rapid uptake, something that's very evident with contactless payments, for instance.

"When we look at their financial behaviours, we see that Australian online adults spend little time and energy on their personal finances," Forrester notes. "But consumers do expect firms to anticipate their needs and offer what they're looking for - sometimes before they even know what they want."

Online services will never be perfect, and we'll always complain when they don't work. Even when they're functioning, it seems like we've barely scratched the surface of how they could actually help us.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on

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