(Early 1990s in India)
People go to markets and shops for buying things they need and mostly use cash for payments. Computers are new age and people are still trying to learn how to use them. Internet is still in its infancy. Mobile phones are unheard of.
(Today in India)
There is a mobile phone for every person in the family. Computers are as good as family members. Smart phones, internet, mobile apps have completely consumed our attention. People are more comfortable using plastic money for making transactions online.
In today’s digital era, it is hard to imagine anyone sans a smart phone, sans an internet connection and most importantly sans knowledge on how to work with either. Be it shopping for a book, a new dress, a mobile phone, an old used car, jewellery or any other consumer durable that you can think of, people first turn to online portals for purchasing. Not just commodities, the web also serves as a market place for several services.
Individuals accustomed to buying online are aware of the risks involved in online transactions. Some of such common risks are:
- Fraudsters stealing your credit card or bank account details and using it for their own benefit.
- The product or service falling short of the promise it exhibited in advertisements and pictures shown online. In other words, the product differs from what it appeared. Or the service is not delivered as per your expectations.
- There is a lag between the purchase, delivery and consumption of the product.
- There is an absence of a relationship with the seller. Sometimes, the product may fall short of your expectations. Whom to approach, will returns be accepted, are you stuck with a defective product? These are some of the usual questions to cross one’s mind.
- And so, it is hard for sellers to gain a buyer’s trust in online shopping
The web is riddled with all sorts of sellers and buyers. One has to be cautious on whom to select and where to invest. Just as for any other commodity, when it comes to making investments in the financial sector, seeking loans and/ or buying an insurance policy, consumers prefer to go online to fulfil this need. If you are someone who is looking for a loan for low credit score or applying for a credit card for the first time, the web is your saviour. There are a host of benefits that a virtual marketplace brings with itself.
- Convenience: Since the arrival of mobile apps and several websites offering to provide online solutions to all your needs, people have found it convenient to buy most products online, including various insurances and loans. You can browse through the best home loans in India from the comfort of your living room. So you do away with traffic woes, save on your time and skip a lot of paper work.
- Comparison: A surfeit of websites help you compare various loan products offered by different financial institutions and compare a variety of insurance products by several insurers. They bring a variety of products under one roof and make it easy for you to compare and select the product most suited for your needs. This way you can compare the various terms of the product and the rates offered by companies.
- Eliminate agents: In the olden days, people would get insurances through agents. Now that it has become easy to buy them, like an online life insurance policy, consumers have been able to steer clear of agents. Earlier the agents would also charge a fee which would be embedded in the premium paid.
- Trusted sites: Many websites such as policybazaar.com and bankbazaar.com are commonly used platforms for comparing and buying insurance policies and loans. Such websites are frequented by several individuals every day. There is ease of access, user friendly approach and trust that your identity is protected. Yet, if there is a doubt in your mind then you can directly apply to the company, which you have zeroed in after making comparisons, through its own website.
- Approachable: There is not a total absence of human touch when dealing online. You can request for a call from an officer of the company, call up the customer service to clarify your queries and even find the nearest location of the office to visit. Whether you need to file insurance claims or prepay your loans, look for a balance transfer of existing loan or just a short term overseas mediclaim policy, you will find the company’s representatives are highly approachable and informed.
Pearls of Wisdom
It is fairly safe to apply for insurance and loan products online. Ofcourse one is certainly exposed to standard risks, however if you are approaching a trusted web source or approaching through the company’s website, you can be rest assured that your transaction will be out of harm’s way. The web certainly offers a host of information albeit quite a few of that can be misleading and false. You can always approach seasoned financial experts such as those part of Credit Sudhaar team, to help you find solutions to your financial exigencies.