- 32% of people aged 18-34 regret buying subscriptions during the pandemic, while 41% fear these regular subscription payments could push them into debt
- New fintech Little Birdie launches with subscription and bill management app to offer households more control over their finances during the cost of living crisis
- A third (33%) of 18-34 year olds fear they can’t afford to keep paying for their current subscriptions and recurring payments, compared to a quarter (25%) for the UK average
- Two thirds (65%) of people say that it should be easier to break a subscription contract if someone is struggling financially during cost of living crisis
Fintech Little Birdie has launched its new app to support people across the UK who are now questioning the subscription services they signed up to during the pandemic, with fears these could push them into debt as households struggle with soaring costs
These figures are particularly high among the 18-34 age group with 32% saying they regret buying these subscriptions (compared to UK average of 19%) and 41% of this group fearful of falling into debt (compared to 27% UK average).
Meanwhile a third (33%) of 18-34 year olds say they simply can’t afford to keep paying their current subscriptions and recurring payments, compared to a quarter (25%) for the UK average.
The research surveyed thousands of people across the UK. Little Birdie is a personal subscription and bill management app that uses a combination of secure open banking technology, data analysis, artificial and human intelligence to deliver personalised tips and insight to help consumers optimise their spend, find better value as well as cancel payments or switch providers within the app.
The Click to Cancel feature will simplify the cancellation process by allowing users to cancel contracts within the Little Birdie app – initially available for almost 400 providers – such as Spotify and Disney+ – with more to be added in the coming months.
The pandemic accelerated the growth of free trial and new subscription adoption for several reasons including convenience and reduced spending elsewhere. Recent research found that two thirds (65%) of UK homes are signed up to regular subscription services, with an average of seven contracts per household. Now, findings from a Little Birdie survey* suggests that the average household has between 10- 20 subscriptions and regular payments when you include utility bills, mobile phones, broadband, and other costs such as mortgages.
With inflation now hitting almost 10%, soaring interest rates, and the cost of living spiralling, six in ten (60%) people across the UK want to cut back on unnecessary spending to prepare for future living cost rises, while a similar proportion (63%) are actively trying to cut down on spending.
The difficulty is that cancelling subscriptions or contracts can be a complicated and lengthy process. Alarmingly, a quarter (26%) of all people avoided cancelling or switching their paid subscriptions due to hidden costs, with this figure rising to four in ten (41%) for 18-34 year olds. Meanwhile, a quarter (24%) find it too difficult to cancel subscriptions and recurring payments as they take too long to do so.
There is now a clear desire for greater guidance and transparency surrounding subscriptions and recurring payments. Two thirds (65%) of people say that it should be easier to break a contract if someone is struggling financially during the cost of living crisis. And eight in ten (79%) say there should be more reminders when people are reaching the end of their free subscription trial period to protect people from additional costs.
Martin Bould, Co-founder of Little Birdie, said: “We’re in the middle of a severe economic crisis. Household budgets are at breaking point, and many – younger people in particular – are at risk of falling into debt due to the current climate, which isn’t being helped by recurring payments they’re tied into.
“While subscriptions can be excellent value for money and can offer a convenient way for people to access needed products and services, the issue is that they can be challenging to monitor, and subscription management can be complicated. Many people sign up on a discounted rate or for a free trial, but find it too difficult – or simply forget – to cancel. And companies don’t often make the cancellation process easy.
“We launched Little Birdie to help people take control of their regular bills and subscriptions – users can connect via open banking to upload all their regular payments into one place or opt to add some or all of these payments manually. The app offers subscription and bill management tools with price comparison and switching capability – something people need now more than ever.”
Little Birdie’s free app will allow people to cancel subscriptions directly, reminding users when payments are due, when a free trial is coming to an end, and when there is a price rise. Little Birdie also scours the internet to find its users better, money saving deals and help them switch provider.