Over 55s reluctant to compare quotes online due to data security fears

Older borrowers could be missing out on the best mortgage and equity release deals through fears about the security of their data, according to the latest research from RegTech firm Contact State.

Data released from Contact State’s report found that just 9% of over 55s went online to get their last mortgage or equity release quote – compared to 17% overall.

Not only this, but two thirds went with the first quote they received.

Thomas Brett, head of mortgages and lending at Contact State, said: “Our findings suggest that concerns about data is creating a real disconnect between over 55s and mortgage and equity release brokers who rely on online channels for their leads.”

Contact State’s research of 5,000 UK Adults suggests that one of the key factors in over 55s’ reluctance to go online revolves around concerns about who has access to their data.

Overall, three-fifths (62%) of over 55s say they have reservations about sharing personal and financial details online to get a mortgage quote. 

This is perhaps understandable when you consider 73% of over 55s have been targeted by cold callers over the past year – almost half of these have been called more than 10 times.

One in eight of those surveyed reported to have had a ‘negative experience’ when getting a financial product or professional service online, and again, the top issue in relation to this being unwanted phone calls, specifically, ‘being contacted by a company other than the one I submitted my details to’.

This issue is one of huge concern to older borrowers, 84% of whom say they’d be unhappy if they submitted their details to one company, and were called by another, while 96% said they would be worried about the security of their data if this happened.

Brett added: “It seems [their] concerns are well justified, given so many older borrowers have had negative experiences, particularly when filling in a form or calculator online, and expecting to get a quote from one company, and then finding they are being called by someone else.

“The trouble is, these online forms and calculators are how so many mortgage and ER brokers get their leads, and if over 55s are having negative experiences using them, they are much less likely to buy when they do eventually get put in touch with someone who can help.”

Commenting on the findings, Desmond O’Hara, adviser development manager at Access Equity Release, said: “Lead gen is vital to the equity release market, but Contact State’s research has revealed that older consumers are increasingly being misled into giving their details, and if that ER lead is not genuine it creates a negative experience for the consumer and the provider.  

“We welcome the work Contact State is doing to certify the good leads because ultimately, it is safer for the customers, more profitable for the lead buyer, and better for the industry as a whole.”

Alain Desmier, managing director of Contact State, added: “Our research highlights just how serious the issues around data and consent are, and the negative impact it is having on people.” “At Contact State, we are working hard with lead generation buyers and sellers across the UK to clean up the industry, creating a clear and transparent customer journey so firms know exactly how that customers’ number was obtained to help ensure ‘how did you get my number’ becomes a question of the past.”