Commentary

Just an Online Minute... More on Online Banking

Last week, as you may remember, the American Bankers Association (ABA) 2003 Bank Marketing Planning Survey promised a 7% increase in banks' marketing budgets this year. The good news in that report was that Internet-related initiatives such as website development, online banking and bill payment were cited the top marketing initiatives banks plan to pursue during the next 12 months, according to the survey.

Well, today, Nielsen//NetRatings reports that the number of individuals conducting banking transactions online has increased nearly 80% over a two-year period.

Recent analysis of Nielsen//NetRatings Fall 2003 @Plan data reveals that since the Fall of 2001, the number of people conducting online banking transactions jumped 79% from nearly 13 million to 23.2 million individuals. This data is based on a survey of individuals age 18 plus that used online banking in the last six months. Drilling down to the year over year comparison, from the Fall of 2001 to the Fall of 2002, online banking grew 32% from 12.9 million to 17.1 million. Comparing the Fall of 2002 to Fall of 2003, the trend continued as the audience level for online banking grew 36%.

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What's also interesting is that Sacramento and Salt Lake City -- not New York or Chicago, as one would expect -- surfers have the highest propensity for using online banking of any major markets in the country. Surfers in both markets are 54% more likely to have used online banking in the last six months than the average Internet user. Seattle and Austin followed as the second and third highest ranked major markets. San Diego rounded out the top five regions where online banking occurs.

Patrick Thomas, senior Internet analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings pointed out that metropolitan areas traditionally considered to be the centers of the US banking industry are "conspicuously absent" from the list of top 5 DMAs. "While we continue to see increased adoption of online banking across the US, it is important to make note of the untapped potential still visible among Internet users in financial epicenters, like New York and Chicago, who currently demonstrate below average usage levels of available online banking features."

Something to talk to your financial clients about, isn't it?

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