|By PR Newswire||
|December 17, 2012 11:41 AM EST||
CHESTER, England, December 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
This year continued where 2011 left off, with consumers feeling the pressure of the rising cost of living and further austerity measures for the nation's finances. With 2013 just around the corner, experts from Britain's number one comparison site, MoneySupermarket.com offer their predictions for the year ahead:
- Consumer finances will continue to be hit by rising costs, changes in benefits and further austerity measures;
- Savers should look to find the best savings rates possible, as rates continue to fall;
- 2013 will be the year for improved switching of bank accounts;
- New technology will play a bigger part for Credit Cards in the year ahead;
- Funding for Lending Scheme will continue to benefit borrowers, but interest-only mortgage "time bomb" set to be a big story in 2013;
- Consumers will benefit from attractive loan rates as a result of Funding for Lending scheme;
- Payday loans set to continue to be popular in 2013, but regulation should tighten up the market;
- Effects of regulation changes will impact car insurance pricing in 2013;
- Energy efficiency will be key focus for Government and households.
Clare Francis, site editor at MoneySupermarket.com, said: "There is no doubt that 2013 will see further pressures on household bills and income with rising costs, changes to benefits and other austerity measures taking effect. For many people, it may be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is therefore vitally important that people take full control of their household expenditure and look to reduce outgoings and free up some cash - it is possible and straightforward to claw back important pounds for the family purse.
"With austerity measures lasting until 2018 at the earliest, it is clear that the pressures on our wallets won't ease for some time so taking action and being proactive is the only real option. Checking all of your outgoings and identifying where savings can be made should be a priority in 2013. For example, look to see whether you are on the cheapest energy tariff available, or make sure you aren't throwing good money after bad by making regular payments for services you no longer require. Using a comparison website to switch products is straight forward and could save you over £1,000 over the course of the year on your household bills."
Kevin Mountford, banking expert at MoneySupermarket.com said: "As predicted, during 2012 we saw an increase in the amount of money put into savings as the continued economic uncertainty pushed consumers to save more, and reduce their debts. The likelihood is that this trend will continue into 2013. However, even though inflation has fallen, savings rates have started to drop at a faster rate. There is no sign that the Bank Base Rate will increase in 2013 and as such it will make it difficult to secure the kind of rates that we have experienced over the last couple of years. That said, there will continue to be competition in the market and as most savers are earning interest below the Bank of England Base Rate of 0.5 per cent, there are better deals to be found for those who look to switch.
"To date, banks have made huge strides in improving the switching process for current accounts but as yet this has failed to deliver the switching levels we see across other banking products. It is still the case that you are more likely to divorce than change your bank. Next year sees new switching rules come into force, forcing banks to switch accounts within seven days and also automatically re-direct any direct debits and standing orders for a period of 13 months after the move to another bank.
"These changes could also trigger the launch of further challenger products from the likes of Tesco Bank and Virgin Bank and these brands can join the likes of The Co-Operative Bank and Nationwide Building Society in trying to break the big bank strangle hold in this market. There will no doubt be more focus on fee based packaged accounts and next year there is likely to be more pressure on the free banking model.
"Early 2013 is likely to see more of the same in the card market. If consumer confidence returns and retail spending picks up, then there could be more purchase and cash-back cards hitting the market. Card issuers may look to capture 'front of wallet' status by pushing a good old fashioned flexible friend which incorporates a range of benefits such as the recently launched Asda credit card that offers zero per cent balance transfer along with cash-back and other benefits. As we have seen in 2012, providers have improved the offering on rewards cards, focusing on consumer loyalty, and we can expect further improvements in the deals available next year.
"No doubt we will see charge cards play a bigger part and new technology can further shape the way credit card users behave with the likes of e-wallet and mobile playing its part."
Clare Francis, site editor at MoneySupermarket.com said: "There was a slight improvement in the mortgage market in 2012 with the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) appearing to be helping the availability of mortgages for those with smaller deposits and rates have become more competitive. With the FLS continuing through 2013, I'd expect to see the impact of that filter through further to the residential mortgage market and that will hopefully mean more lenders offering competitive 90 per cent LTV products.
"However, while mortgage rates look set to remain low in 2013, and could nudge even lower because of the availability of cheap funding via the FLS, I think the trend for higher fees will continue. It's therefore really important that people don't get blinded by the headline rate when comparing mortgage deals and that they factor in the impact of the fee as well.
"Finally, I think interest-only mortgages will be a big story in 2013. The Financial Services Authority has said it thinks interest-only mortgages have a role in the market, albeit as a niche product, but with a number of lenders having already clamped down on the availability of interest-only loans, and some having stopped offering them altogether, there are real issues for many existing borrowers who have them. For some it's the question of how they'll ever repay the mortgage debt, while for those who are managing their mortgage well, there's the issue of what they'll do when their current deal ends as they may struggle to remortgage if they want to stay on interest-only. The FSA is currently looking into these issues so it will be interesting to see its conclusions and recommendations when its report is published."
Loans and Debt
Tim Moss, head of loans and debt at MoneySupermarket.com said: "With the Government's Funding for Lending scheme gathering full steam, the lenders have capitalised on this to produce the lowest loan rates on record. However, with borrowers still showing a cautious attitude, the numbers of loans available are still way off pre-Credit Crunch levels. As a result, we will still see these remarkably low headline rates remain during 2013 - which is great news for consumers. One note of caution is that while rates look attractive, banks are unlikely to change who they want to lend to - if you haven't got a perfect credit score the options to borrow remain limited.
"Consumer payday loan appetite sees no sign of abating. With bank's underwriting policies looking unlikely to change, we predict that customers will still flock to find loans in other places - for the moment Payday will remain at the top of that pile. However, with the new financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), beginning work in 2013 there will be moves to tighten up the payday market. As such, those brands that adhere to the stricter guidelines will no doubt reap the rewards. However, consumers still need to exercise caution if using a payday loan as they are an expensive product and should only be used in an emergency, and if you have a clear way of repaying that loan at the end of the month.
"With increasing regulatory pressure being placed on the paid-for debt solution market, many companies' business models will struggle. It is likely that upfront fees will be outlawed next year and as such, debt management companies who pressurised consumers into paying fees before entering into a plan, will see tough times. As a result, the free sector may struggle to cope with an influx of enquiries as the number of alternatives within the paid-for sector reduces. However, for those in financial difficulty, there will still be many options available to them, whether paid-for or free debt advice."
Pete Harrison, insurance expert at MoneySupermarket.com said: "The motor insurance market could become profitable in 2013 - we have seen operating losses narrow over the past two years as premium inflation and the sale of ancillary products has benefited insurers. A move to profitability will lead to greater competition and we could see further price deflation as a result. The impact of the ECJ ruling on gender will start to filter through into the New Year and it will become much clearer how motorists will be affected by the new prices. These changes in the market will make it more important than ever to shop around and not accept your renewal price from your existing insurer, as pricing is likely to fluctuate, particularly in the New Year."
Hannah Jones, head of home insurance at MoneySupermarket.com said: "Flooding will continue to be a major issue for home insurers next year, especially with the Statement of Principles coming to an end on 30 June. With over 200,000 properties at risk of having no insurance as a result, this needs to be a priority for the Government and the industry. The Funding for Lending Scheme has helped open mortgage lending a little, which in turn will increase demand for home insurance for new homeowners.
"The home insurance market is currently profitable so is attractive to existing and new insurers - as a result we can expect greater competition and potentially see further price deflation in the market as a result - a great thing for consumers."
Emma Walker, head of life insurance atMoneySupermarket.com "The impact of gender neutral on life insurance is still unknown at this stage, and we expect it will take some time to understand the true impact on pricing and the impact on consumer take-up of protection products. Behind the scenes there will be lots of challenges and discussion about how simplified products can work in practice. The role of the comparison websites will become stronger, especially as the effect of Retail Distribution Review (RDR) is felt on the financial advice market."
Clare Francis, site editor at MoneySupermarket.com said: "Energy price rises have become an annual event over recent years and I expect 2013 to be no different. However, there are simple things people can do to protect themselves from higher bills. Firstly, switch to a fixed tariff - not only could this mean a reduction in the price you pay for gas and electricity now, you will also be insulated should we see another round of price hikes in 2013. Secondly, take measures to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
"There is likely to be increased interest in energy efficiency from government and the industry in light of the 2012 Energy Bill as politicians and providers seek to encourage us to use less gas and electricity in order to offset the additional amounts we will have to pay over the coming years to cover investment in renewable energy sources. Households should take advantage of offers such as free loft and cavity wall insulation - it can knock a few hundred pounds off your annual energy bill. And look to take other steps to reduce your consumption such as turning the heating down slightly, doing your washing at a lower temperature and having showers rather than baths. All of these things make a difference and can collectively result in significant savings."
MoneySupermarket.com compares (at 29th November 2012)
- 130 car insurance brands and 99 home insurance brands
- 9 broadband providers and 20 energy providers
- 30 unsecured loan and 5 secured loan providers
- 62 mortgage lenders and 27 credit card providers
- 63 savings providers and 38 current account providers.
- Over 920,000 mobile phone deals
We help our customers to save money on all of their household bills by providing a free, easy to use online service so they can compare a wide range of products in one place and find the product most suited to their needs. Our size means we are able to offer our customers exclusive, market-leading deals, including some they can't even get direct from providers.
By having considerable volumes of informed customers actively looking for products and ready to purchase, we offer our providers an efficient and cost effective customer acquisition solution across all of our channels. This enables our providers to target their marketing spend in an effective and completely measurable way.
Our revenue comes predominantly from fees paid to us by product providers when a customer clicks through to their website and actually applies for or purchases a product. It is a success based marketing fee.
Our customer commitment
- We make it easy to find the brands you expect to see
- We strive to ensure a product cannot be found cheaper by going direct
- We let you remain in control of your personal data
- We are independent and impartial
- We make it easy to switch and save
- We strive to always show the most competitive product available
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Nov. 28, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,201
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,312
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,645
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,481
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,317
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,677
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 27, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,291
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,238
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,250
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,531
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,506
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,402
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,336
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,249
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,196
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,631
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,726
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,628
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,755
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,789