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Brits Prefer DIY Customer Care from their Banks

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Britons would deliberately choose a computer or a mobile phone to manage their finances before phoning a call centre, new research reveals. One in five of us would prefer to log on than dial a call centre and speak to a person, findings from the Future Foundation think tank and mobile banking firm Monitise show.

This preference has grown rapidly - up from 1 in 20 in 2002 - as technology has improved and broadband become more widespread.

Unsurprisingly, it is the younger generation leading the way - with more than a quarter of 18 to 25 year-olds opting for technology ahead of the human touch. However pensioners are getting in on the do-it-yourself act, with one in ten logging-on or using their mobile phone to manage their money instead of call centres. Fulfilling gender stereotypes, more men than women said that a major benefit of using technology to do their own banking was the lack of other people involved (22% compared to 13%).

"People want to manage their money on their terms, and with most tasks easily done via mobile and internet banking, they have 24/7 control at their fingertips," said the Future Foundation's Barry Clark, the author of the report. "The speed and convenience of this 'DIY banking' also means that we don't have to go through the whole call centre rigmarole, which can be a frustrating and painful process at times.

The Future Foundation asked 1,000 adults in the UK for their views on the role of technology in customer service.

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Tags: mobile banking  broadband  broadband  UK