43% of Indian consumers have witnessed a decline in their household income since the onset of COVID-19 – Experian Global Insights Report

Experian’s research shows major shifts in consumer behaviour and business strategy pre- and post-COVID-19, with economic perception at the epicentre

The pandemic has created a seismic shift in the volume of online activity and experiences in the past few months. Experian’s Global Insights Report, one of the first large-scale surveys assessing the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and consumers explores the major shifts in consumer behaviour and business strategy pre- and post-COVID-19, with economic perception at the epicentre. According to the report, 43% of Indian consumers have indicated that their household income has declined since COVID-19, thereby, being concerned about their well-being. Not just consumers, even businesses have been concerned about the well-being of their customers. This is evident in the fact that 53% of Indian businesses have highlighted health & safety of customers as the biggest challenge.

Experian surveyed 3,000 consumers and 900 executives working in retail banks, e-commerce, consumer technology and telecommunications. Respondents spanned India, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The survey was conducted in June and July and covered consumer and business economic outlooks, financial well-being, online behaviour and more.

The report also says that 74% consumers in India more strongly indicated that businesses are doing a better job at communicating about the use of their personal data since COVID-19. This shows that not only are people relying on mobile and digital channels to bank, shop, work and socialise, they’re also closely watching how businesses respond to their needs.

Key highlights for India from the Experian’s Global Insights Report – Consumer Survey:

  • Increase in activities online during the pandemic as compared to before – General Media (46%), OTT (42%) and Online Grocery Shopping (42%) being the top three online activities
  • 50% of consumers expect an increase in online spending; both the short-term and within the next 12 months
  • Consumers face challenges in paying internet/cable (36%), utilities (35%), credit card (33%) and mobile phone (32%) bills; a significant increase from the pre-COVID-19 days
  • Consumers have taken significantly stronger actions in almost every possible way to deal with their current financial circumstance; Creating / using more personal budget (31%), reducing discretionary spending (25%) and saving more in emergency funds (24%) are the top three actions currently taken
  • India has seen the largest incremental growth in the use of digital banking and payment methods since COVID-19, with 16% increase in the use of mobile wallets and 14% increase for retail apps
  • Indians indicate high concerns regarding conducting activities online – Credit card being stolen (42%) and Online privacy (41%) being the top two concerns
  • Consumers are most trusting of retail banks (69%), technology providers (75%), payment system providers (72%) and streaming services (71%)
  • There has been an increase in the number of consumers (76%) wanting to know what their data is being requested for
  • Financial data (38%) is the type of personal data that consumers are most concerned about protecting; followed by protection of personal information (19%)
  • Consumers expressed the highest willingness (39%) to share personal data since COVID-19
  • 70% of consumers want more control over their personal data. Furthermore, consumers in India are driving the APAC increases from pre-COVID-19 period – opening new online account (+7% jump to 52%), opening bank account (+6% jump to 50%) and applying for credit card or loan (+6% jump to 47%)
  • Indian consumers feel the most secure with physical biometrics (96%) and the use of PIN code (90%)

Commenting on the consumer findings for India, Sathya Kalyanasundaram, Country Head and Managing Director, Experian India said, “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused both businesses and consumers to shift their priorities. With social distancing becoming the norm, consumers have had to get out of their comfort zone by letting go of conventional methods and adapting to the digital way of conducting their daily affairs. This also means that banks and financial institutions must be very careful in how they treat consumers in these tough times. Our data shows that 54% of customers would give an organisation more business if they felt they were treated fairly during the pandemic, higher than the APAC figure of 41%.”

He further added, “At Experian India, we believe that consumers should be in control of their data. In keeping with this, we enabled free and unlimited credit report downloads from our website whilst continuing to educate consumers on financial prudence in this challenging period.”

The survey also found that since the start of the pandemic, top priorities for businesses include the health and safety of their customers and employees, as well as adjusting their operations to ensure business continuity. Organisations are utilising digital solutions to manage customer credit risk, with 26% planning to use on-demand cloud-based decisioning applications.

To learn about more findings from the Global Insights Report visit the Global Decision Analytics Insights blog.

Source:  Experian Press Release