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Lacking the digital skills to shop online costs consumers £744 a year

If consumers are not shopping online for the best deals, they could be missing out on hundreds of pounds of potential savings

UK adults who do not have the digital skills to shop for discounted goods online could be losing up to £744 a year.

Research by Lloyd’s bank and digital skills charity Go On UK found that 70% of people said using the internet to look for deals is saving them more than £60 a month.

The older generation, who lack digital skills and have concerns surrounding online shopping and banking, are not benefiting from these savings as much as the younger digital-savvy population, the research suggests.

“It’s unacceptable that the people who can benefit the most from what our digital age has to offer are currently missing out making huge online financial savings,” said Martha Lane Fox, chair of Go On UK.

“Some 64% of the over 60s who are digitally excluded say they are worried about privacy and security, while 62% claim the internet is of no interest to them. Yet, a staggering 86% of people who manage their money online say they ‘worry less’.”

Lane Fox suggested that those who use digital to manage their money worry less in the long term. However, the report found that 47% of over-60s claimed nothing would encourage them to gain online skills and internet access, despite the benefits.

Those who were born between the 1960s and the 1980s – often labelled generation X – are the most likely to make savings using digital, as they have both financial knowledge and digital skills combined.

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The report also found that if the 7.1 million UK adults who do not have bank accounts or internet access were to utilise digital, they could make a saving of £3.7bn between them each year.

UK adults can also use digital to save a significant amount of money annually, regardless of their level of income, with those earning £15,000 a year capable of saving up to £516 by using online tools and skills.

However, the report highlighted that the digital divide will only grow if more is not done to get the 10 million digitally excluded adults online.

“We know from our research that ensuring universal basic digital skills would give government a direct cash return of £1.9bn in increased tax receipts, lower job seeker allowance payments and NHS primary care savings,” said Lane Fox.

“As such, it is vital more is done now to shift the perception around the benefits of digital and to help boost the lack of confidence and motivational barriers that may be holding people back from benefiting in our digital age.”

Lane Fox previously launched the dot everyone initiative to not only to tackle digital exclusion, but to provoke discussion surrounding women and diversity in the technology sector.

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