How do we make our money?

Published:
12 November 2009
Topic:

At moneysupermarket.com, we aim to help you make the most of your money by enabling you to compare products and prices in order to find the best deal for your needs.

As well as offering comparison tools, the articles, videos, and webchats we regularly produce, as well as our guides and forums, should help provide the support you need to choose the right product for your needs.

However, because we're a commercial business, people often question whether the information provided on moneysupermarket.com is impartial.

So, here we answer some common questions to help you understand exactly how moneysupermarket.com works and how we make money.

What products and providers does moneysupermarket show?

Where possible, moneysupermarket.com's comparison tables include the entire market.

With money products such as credit cards, savings accounts and current accounts, we can usually list every product - providers do not have to pay to appear in these tables. There are some occasions where we can't - most commonly because the provider itself has requested that a certain product be removed from our listings - and in these instances we explain why here.

The situation is different for insurance as legally we can only include providers we have an agreement with because we need to access their websites in order to get a quote when customers input their details to compare premiums and policies.

That said, moneysupermarket.com aims to compare more providers and prices than any other comparison site, to ensure customers find the best deal and have no need to go anywhere else. This is monitored closely by our compliance team and the results are published on the site so that you can see how we compare to our competitors. You can view that information here.

So how does moneysupermarket.com make money?

Moneysupermarket has commercial arrangements in place with many of the providers listed on the site. With regards to most product areas, we get paid if a customer successfully applies for an account or policy via moneysupermarket.com and goes on to purchase it.

In some cases, such as flights, we get paid on a "pay per click" basis, which means that we receive payment from the provider if a customer clicks through from our site, regardless of whether they go on to buy or not.

While we can and do, display products from providers we don't have a commercial arrangement with, the only products you can apply for directly, by clicking through from moneysupermarket.com are those where there is a commercial arrangement in place. If you see a product you want to buy but there is no 'proceed' or 'apply' button you will need to visit the provider's website in order to apply.

Our main income is derived from customers clicking through from results pages and buying a product. However, we also have a number of other smaller revenue sources, such as onsite advertising. In the same way as newspaper and other online advertising works, some companies pay to have adverts on our site - these usually appear down the right hand side of pages or as banner ads across the top.

Do these commercial arrangements affect the price I pay?

No. Purchasing a product through moneysupermarket.com will not cost you any more than if you bought direct from the provider.

In some instances you may even be able to get a better deal than if you went direct. We offer some exclusive deals that aren't available anywhere else - either on other comparison sites or direct from providers. At the time of writing, exclusives include a market-leading loan from Blackhorse Finance, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group; £50 cashback if you buy Barclays' car insurance; Virgin Essentials - a new travel insurance policy - and a range of exclusive discount offers on our vouchers channel. We are continually striving to bring you more and more exclusives.

How are products displayed in moneysupermarket's results tables?

We rank results by price in the case of products such as insurance, energy, broadband and flights (with the lowest premium first), and interest rate with products such as loans, savings accounts, mortgages and current accounts (the most competitive rate will appear at the top).

With credit cards, it depends on the type of card you are looking for: balance transfer cards, for example, will be ranked so the card with the longest interest-free period appears at the top of the results table.

On some channels we show 'Best Seller' tables. These appear on the main landing page to give you an indication of the products available if you won't want to do a specific search and retrieve a full results listing. As stated at the top of these tables, Best Sellers are products from providers moneysupermarket.com has a commercial relationship with, and which you can apply for via our site. For an example of a page featuring a 'Best Seller' table, click here.

If you opt for a full list of providers offering the product you are interested in buying, a full results table will be displayed. At the top of the results page you may see some 'Sponsored Products' listed. The providers have paid for their product to appear in this section. Scroll down the page and you'll see how competitively priced those products are in comparison with the rest of the market.

What else is shown in moneysupermarket.com's results tables?

While price or rate is the most influential factor for many people when they're deciding which product to buy, it isn't the only thing to take into account. We therefore show other product features which may have a bearing when you're deciding which deal to go for.

And in some instances, particularly with insurance policies, you may find the deal that initially appears best value doesn't actually work out to be the most suitable deal for your circumstances - it will depend on the level of cover. For example, some car insurance quotes may include windscreen cover and a courtesy car as standard, whereas you'll be charged extra with another provider. This is information is clearly displayed in our results tables to help you make the right buying decision.

Different considerations need to be taken into account depending on what product you are looking for. With a savings account for example, factors such as whether the interest rate includes an introductory bonus, whether or not you can make penalty-free withdrawals, and how the account is operated could influence which account you go for.

As well as displaying additional product information in the results tables, our guides, articles and videos should also help if you're unsure about which deal to go for.

If I get a quote or apply for a product through moneysupermarket.com, are my details safe?

Yes. We do not sell personal or customer data on to third parties so you can use moneysupermarket.com with confidence.

However, we do offer an advisory service - if you are looking for a mortgage, protection product, such as life insurance, or loan and are not confident about what to buy you can choose to be put in touch with a financial adviser. If you opt for this service, you will complete a form which is passed to an adviser who will then contact you about your enquiry.

Who owns moneysupermarket.com?

Moneysupermarket.com is listed on the London Stock Exchange, having floated in July 2007, and as such is owned by shareholders. The majority shareholder is Simon Nixon, who founded the company in December 1999 and is executive deputy chairman.

It is the only UK comparison site that is a listed company - others are either privately owned or owned by insurance groups.

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