Out of the mouths of consumers… from the latest insurance research.
Jargon… every industry has it and financial services are no exception. Which is why the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) requested an independent researcher, Confluence, carry out consumer research in 2018 to figure out exactly how well understood financial services provider names were.
Conducted across various ages, locations and genders in both urban and rural communities, the results came out in December. Some of the findings were surprising, some nothing short of hilarious.
Here are the top three most misunderstood – and best understood – terms in financial services jargon:
Broker – While a broker is the go-between person advising and assisting you to secure financial products, what people thought it meant in the survey was a lot more edgy. “Someone who collects money from the debtors” was one descriptor, “head of household” another. Probably the one with the most street cred was the respondent who said agent “is against the law – labour broker”.
Agent – Sounds like international insurance spies, but actually, an agent is simply a representative of a financial services provider who liaises with customers and offers insurance solutions. This is similar to the term ‘broker’, and many people use the terms interchangeably. What people thought, however, was a little different. “Someone who recruits people for something (like a sports agent”) was one misunderstanding.
Tied adviser – Under the proposed updates to regulations, financial services advisers have to communicate whether they are a ‘tied’ (receiving financial incentive for selling insurance solutions from one specific insurer) or ‘independent’ (no financial ties to any one insurer). Understandably, this was the most confusing term for consumers. Respondents called tied advisers “a community of forgivers”, a “person who works harder, busy man” and even “a person who advises about your tithe, like at churches!”
While these insights have a funny side, they also bring a serious message for financial services providers: minimise the jargon. If you serve a community and they struggle to understand your terminology, it’s you who must change – not them. That’s why MiWayLife is committed to helping South Africans become more financially secure and protected when navigating their way through insurance.