Wales residents spend extra £ 2,149 as they increase their time online
The people of Wales have, on average, spent an additional £ 2,149 each on online purchases over the past year, the latest digital consumer index from Lloyds Bank has revealed.
A third (31%) of people in Wales said the Covid-19 pandemic had made them more likely to shop without thinking about the future implications, with residents making, on average, 31 more online transactions in the country. during the last twelve months.
The extra online spending comes as more and more people turn to the internet for goods and services instead of going to the main drag. More than half (53%) of people across the country say they have increased their internet use, and nine in ten (92%) expect their new habits to continue for the long term.
But despite the increase in time spent online, one in eight (13)% in Wales is still offline, having not used a desktop, laptop, mobile or tablet in the past. in the last three months – the highest proportion in countries and regions of the United Kingdom. .
Nicola Bannister, Ambassador for Wales at Lloyds Banking Group said:
“Almost half of the people of Wales admitted that they would not have done well last year without the internet. And it’s clear that many have embraced online shopping and used social media to stay in touch with friends and family.
“Being online is increasingly important in a more connected world. But Wales has the highest proportion of ‘offline’ residents of any part of the UK, raising concerns that many people across the country are receiving services that support mental and financial well-being.
“While this is a choice for some, being offline can often be due to a lack of understanding of digital tools. This is why we are improving access to training through our Academy, with free courses available to Welsh residents.
Despite the increase in online shopping, the pandemic has made many more people in Wales cautious with their finances in general. More than half (53%) say the experience of the pandemic has changed their priorities and that they are now focusing more on having no debt.
Along with the growth of online banking *, more than nine in ten (91%) now manage their money online and almost six in ten (60%) feel more in control of their day-to-day finances than they do. ‘were previously. one year ago.
Research also found that half (53%) of Welsh residents believe the steps they’ve taken to manage their finances over the past year mean they can now enjoy their lives more. However, many still feel the pressure on their household finances, with almost a quarter (26%) saying they feel stressed or overwhelmed by their financial situation.
“I have spoken a lot recently about the link between financial difficulties and mental well-being and I have encouraged anyone who is having financial difficulties to speak as soon as possible to their bank or to another organization such as Stepchange or Le Mental. Health and Money Advice Service.
“I know people don’t always like to talk about money issues, but it’s a vital first step in getting help. We are already helping our clients get back to financial health and have more than 6,500 colleagues trained to help clients build financial resilience. Through our Digital Academy, we can help people develop their digital skills and manage their money online, which we know can contribute to financial well-being.
Cardiff-based Karen Walters, 59, has always been confident in her digital abilities through her work with a housing association, but last year has made her more inclined to manage her finances digitally and buy property in line.
“I’m pretty technical anyway. Guess that’s because I’m still working full time and you need to have some level of computer skills, but it has definitely improved over the last 12 months, we had to get more digital savvy.
Living alone, the lockdown has left Karen isolated. But by being online, she managed to stay in touch with family and friends through virtual quizzes hosted on Zoom. And she also kept in touch with other Cardiff Blues Rugby Union supporters via Facebook groups.
Karen also learned to better manage her money by making more use of online banking during the lockdown.
“You can log in and see all your money in one place. In September, during the lockdown, I transferred one of my ISAs hosted elsewhere to my Lloyds Bank account because I didn’t want things to be scattered all over the place. You can see exactly where you are ”, Karen continued. “I would probably write a check sometimes and put it in the mail. It is gone, it is not necessary.