Search
  • COMPASS

When technology can ‘Dumb Us Down’


Over the ‘Easter’ break I noticed an increasing frequency of an advertisement for a web based business known as ‘’Finder. Com’’. Before I move on to the subject matter I’d encourage you to visit this website link http://www.finder.com.au/, & in particular read the disclaimer at the foot of the home page. Specifically “We also don't recommend specific products, services or providers. If you decide to apply for a product or service through our website you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product or service and not with us ”

Now this web based product / service information provider, markets itself with knowledge far beyond its basic format. I say that because of the actual words spoken on the advertisement. It carries both its own ’Credit License’’ & acts as an authorized representative under another entity’s ‘’Australian Financial Services License’’. I’ll return to the statement made under their disclaimer confirming that they do not provide recommendations , in other words ‘ No Advice’ on products. The website offers product / service comparisons in a number of different industries & the (4) main people involved appear to be driven by improving the ‘’pricing’’ on deals that service providers supply to their clients. That in itself is commendable . I will not discuss any other product / service other than that which I have had (37) year’s industry experience , being lending & finance. On the website they offer a direct credit application to each advertised lender . The process is via a link. Once again such an online business set up is driven by numbers & volumes, not necessarily focused on the individual’s personal needs. Here are what I see as the obvious dangers associated with consumers that might follow the online lender product pathway , driven by pricing alone:-

  1. Every time a credit application is made by a consumer it impacts detrimentally on their ‘’Credit File’’, due to fairly recent changes in the credit reporting system analytics. Point scoring accumulates for every enquiry / application & can therefore impact negatively on the outcome of future applications for credit.

  2. Specialized advice identifies an individual’s objectives & needs, & often that means it is not necessarily the product with cheaper rates & fees that successfully meets those specific client needs.

  3. Lender policies change regularly according to particular products & markets they are chasing. The structure of this website does not arm or empower clients with that knowledge.

  4. Lastly this sort of overt marketing & selling is not in itself driven by client protection or retention, it is driven as mentioned above by volumes in numbers & dollars. The question begs, is that in the clients best interest? The end lender carries a fiduciary duty of care . The website entity carries no such obligation for care of its consumers.

As our younger demographics move through their life stages where credit & lending is frequently accessed by them, is it not critical that they have specialized support to ensure they make very informed decisions? Simply pitching a website based on price is a ‘dumbing down’ of the services & products being supplied. Is it not?


0 views

Any advice on this website is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances, objectives and needs. Therefore, before making a decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Please see our Financial Services Guide for more information.

COMPASS financial management (A.B.N. 43 235 905 061) is an authorised representative of Charter Financial Planning Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licensee

 

      02 6583 2211