Consumer concerns around security when going online for a mortgage

Concerns among consumers are growing about the security of their personal information when they go online and compare mortgage quotes, according to research from Contact State.

The RegTech firm stated that this is despite consumers increasingly wanting to go online to apply for their mortgage.

A survey of 5,000 consumers, carried out by Data Control Matters, has found that while just 17% began their search online the last time they looked for mortgage quotes, 34% of the same adults would go online next time – a rise of 100%.

It also found that while only half (54%) got more than one quote before proceeding with their last mortgage, 73% would now get more than one quote, with 42% saying they’d get at least three, showing a clear preference for comparing mortgage deals online.

However, despite the shift to online and demand for quote comparisons to ensure they are getting the best deal, the study suggested that consumers have growing concerns about their data, and are becoming increasingly unhappy with the way it is being handled.

Contact State found that the vast majority of consumers have at least some concerns about sharing their data to get an online mortgage quote, after just 33% said they had none. It found that 24% say they have felt “forced” to share their data to get a mortgage quote, and 29% had a negative experience when getting a quote.

Of those who have had a bad experience, 24% said it was unclear they’d have to submit personal details to receive an online mortgage quote, 24% expected to receive an online quote but were called instead, while 29% were contacted by a company different from the one they submitted their details.

Head of mortgages and lending at Contact State,Thomas Brett, commented: “Gone are the days of getting one mortgage quote and then proceeding – people want to take more control of their financial decisions – so there is a huge opportunity for mortgage brokers to win new business.

“However, our data shows that the landing pages they are seeing when they search for quotes are becoming increasingly ‘deceptive’, presenting themselves as an instant quote or calculation when in fact, they are lead generation pages, and this is causing them to feel quite negative towards the entire experience.”

For most consumers, the study also found that receiving unsolicited calls as a result of sharing data online is one of the biggest issues, and the research found that 73% of consumers have received cold calls over the last 12 months. At average of five calls per person, across the UK this would equate to a total of 193 million unsolicited calls in the last year

Data Control Matters found that these negative experiences have resulted in 39% of people feeling less willing to share their data online than they were five years ago, and that 37% admitting to having reservations about sharing their phone number to get a mortgage quote. 

Brett added: “If brokers are buying data or leads from a source they don't understand, and the customer has had a negative experience getting to them, not only are the less likely to buy, but as the buyer of that lead, the mortgage firm or broker could well be in breach of the Consumer Duty.”

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