Consumer Pulse Q4 2021

Unemployment increases remain an impediment to financial freedom

During this period, 55% of respondents indicated their household income was currently negatively impacted due to COVID-19. This proportion decreased from Q1’2021 (62%) by 7 percentage points. Of all surveyed consumers, 34% said someone in their household lost their job, while 32% indicated someone in their household had their salary reduced and 28% had work hours cut in the past month.

There remains an underlying fear of credit 

While 79% of households considered access to credit important or moderately important, only 34% believed they currently have sufficient access to credit. Forty-seven percent of consumers whose household income was impacted during the pandemic stated they considered applying for credit but ultimately decided against doing so. Major reasons for this choice were the cost of new credit being too high (34%) and fear of being declined due to the current status of their income/employment (35%).

Financially impacted consumers are becoming targets for digital fraud

Of consumers who were aware of a digital fraud attempt targeted at them, 40% said it was from third-party seller scams on legitimate online retail websites, and 26% stated they had been targeted through an unemployment scam. Consumers impacted financially by the pandemic had higher occurrences of fraud with 42% citing third-party seller scams and 30% an unemployment scam.   

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