A new report from the Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance (CAFII) has found that many Canadian consumers with credit protection insurance (CPI) have switched the way they conduct certain financial transactions – and it might be a permanent change.
A survey conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights for CAFII found that 84% of Canadian CPI customers said their experience during COVID-19 has made them more comfortable conducting financial transactions online. It also revealed that 72% said it changed the way they want to conduct these transactions in the future, and that 70% said that they have upgraded their technology to make it easier to conduct financial transactions from home.
Prior to the pandemic, Canadians were most likely to conduct financial transactions such as arranging for loans or buying insurance in person at a branch, the study found. About 48% of respondents with CPI said that they conducted transactions in-person. But only 36% of respondents say they will return to a branch for these types of transactions after the pandemic – a 12-point decline over 2018.
Despite this decline, consumers still put a high value on branches; 66% of respondents said they are looking forward to going back. Also, 88% of respondents said they would prefer this method particularly for arranging loans and insurance. But 47% said they would prefer another channel to speak with a representative such as over the phone (23%), to have a person come to their home (13%), or to speak with someone over video conferencing (11%).
77% of respondents said that they would prefer to submit a claim on their CPI with the assistance of a representative, compared to 22% who would choose self-service as their preferred option, But of that 77%, only 35% said they prefer it to submit a claim through a branch, instead of through other channels such as phone, home visit, video conferencing or email.
“While the pandemic has and will continue to change the way that people conduct financial transactions in Canada, we are pleased to see consumers are adapting well to their new reality, and that our industry's customer satisfaction levels have been up to the challenge,” said CAFII co-executive director Keith Martin. "We also appreciate the value that Canadians place on the availability of in-person service, and their confidence in the people working in financial services who provide it."