|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
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Dec. 1, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 619
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Dec. 1, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 357
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Dec. 1, 2015 04:45 AM EST Reads: 455
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Dec. 1, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 468
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
Dec. 1, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 469
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment process from development to production scenarios using Docker containers.
Dec. 1, 2015 01:15 AM EST Reads: 124
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
Nov. 30, 2015 03:45 PM EST Reads: 111
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 30, 2015 03:15 PM EST Reads: 250
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Nov. 30, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 495
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 373
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
Nov. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 438
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
Nov. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 440
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 30, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 542
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 30, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 346
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Nov. 30, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 466
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Nov. 30, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 361
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Nov. 30, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 303
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Nov. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 511
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Nov. 30, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 573
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Nov. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 479