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Post: Digital Account Fatigue: The Silent Threat to Financial Services Portal and Platform Engagement 



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By Paul Holland 

In today’s hyper-connected digital world, consumers are inundated with a plethora of financial services portals and platforms, all vying for their attention. This deluge has led to increased levels of ‘digital account fatigue’, where the sheer number of online accounts has become so overwhelming for users that they no longer want to engage with online portals or platforms.    

New research released at the beginning of the month revealed that, on average, an adult in the UK has over 119 different online accounts, with around 21 solely dedicated to managing finances or insurance.  

Unsurprisingly, more than 50% of consumers have reported feeling overwhelmed by the number of accounts they have to manage and, as a result, have become fatigued even by the idea of trying to access their online accounts – with even more stating they are reluctant to create any new online accounts in the future. This poses a significant challenge for the financial services sector, as it severely hinders customer engagement.  

With 60% of consumers finding portals for pensions, mortgages, and insurance difficult to use, and only 30-40% accessing these portals annually, financial services providers must rethink their strategies, or face losing customers.   

Flawed financial services portals and platforms   

Portals, often positioned as convenient solutions for managing finances, frequently fall short in terms of user experience. Confusing interfaces and poor user navigation have made it increasingly difficult for consumers to find or access the information they need in a timely and convenient way.  

Furthermore, the necessity to remember multiple passwords and navigate different security protocols – with many sites requiring two-factor authentication to log on – has only added to the complexity and frustration for users.   

Despite the critical nature of pension and life insurance information, less than half of customers access their accounts on an annual basis. This not only affects consumers, who may miss out on important updates and opportunities, but also impacts financial institutions, who are failing to build strong relationships with their customers.     

Pivoting portal strategies   

It is crucial for financial service institutions to pivot their strategies in order to better meet consumer needs. 65% of consumers prefer receiving information from their banks, pension providers, and financial advisors via email, as opposed to by post (27%) or through a portal (7%). This preference underscores the need for greater simplicity in the delivery of essential information to consumers, prompting financial institutions to adapt their approach to align more with email updates, rather than portal notifications or traditional postal services. 

In order to encourage consumer engagement, communication channels such as email can be used to signpost individuals towards an online account. However, portals must move beyond mere transactional hubs to become sources of unique value. Any value hidden behind a gated login or portal must be worth logging in for, in order to create a fair value exchange with the cognitive burden this puts on customers. By offering personalised insights, offers and hybrid advice, financial services may be able to make their portals more valuable and increase return frequency.   

Unveiling consumers’ security preferences   

Security concerns play a pivotal role in the digital account management experience, with our report finding several consumers feel burdened by not just the number of accounts they have, but also by the need to remember several passwords and login credentials. Wider solutions that financial services providers could implement include single sign-on (SSO) service, biometric authentication, or even password managers to streamline the login process.    

SSO services allow users to access multiple accounts with a single set of login credentials, reducing the need to remember multiple passwords or user credentials and making account management more convenient. Biometric authentication, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, offers a secure and user-friendly alternative to traditional passwords, enhancing both security and ease of access. Additionally, password managers can help consumers generate and store complex passwords securely, further easing the burden of account management. 

By exploring advanced security measures, financial services providers can address consumers’ security preferences and simplify the login process simultaneously. This not only improves user experience, but also helps to rebuild trust and engagement with their digital platforms.  

It’s important businesses throughout the sector recognise flaws in their current portals and platforms and look to pivot portal strategies to align with evolving consumer preferences and reignite customer engagement. Streamlining user interfaces, adopting more direct communication methods, and simplifying security protocols will not only enhance the user experience, but also build stronger relationships with consumers.  

As digital fatigue continues to grow, these actionable recommendations can help financial services providers navigate the complexities of the digital landscape and ensure sustained engagement and satisfaction among their customers.

About the Author

Paul HollandPaul Holland is the CEO of Beyond Encryption. He is dedicated to sharing his 40 years of experience in digital security and identity protection with his team and the wider market, making him an expert mentor and leader. 

Lora Helmin

Lora Helmin

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