comScore, a leader in measuring the digital world, released the results of its annual online banking study, which revealed that the U.S. online banking population grew 9.5 percent in 2006 versus the previous year, compared to double-digit increases in 2005 (27 percent) and 2004 (47 percent). While aggregate growth has dropped into the single-digits, several individual banks experienced substantial gains in 2006, with both Citibank and Washington Mutual increasing their number of online banking customers by more than 20 percent. This growth is due at least in part to Citibank’s aggressive ‘e-savings’ campaign and Washington Mutual’s continued free checking and 5-percent statement savings accounts being promoted across multiple media.
Annual Growth in Online Banking Customers
Source: comScore, Inc.
Year Percent Growth vs. Prior Year
“Competition for new customers is heating up as the online banking industry matures,” said Serge Matta, senior vice president of comScore Financial Solutions. “Incentive programs and aggressive savings account interest rates will continue to lure new customers, but banks are also focusing on increasing usage of online banking features among current customers. One key element to increasing engagement among current online banking users is addressing customers’ senses of security on the sites.” Increase in Security Felt in 2006
A recent survey of online banking customers conducted by comScore showed that customers perceive an increase in security of both online banking sites and the Internet as a whole. While 58 percent of online banking customers believe the Internet is more secure than one year ago, 68 percent believe online banking is more secure than one year ago. The top reasons for the heightened sense of security on online banking Web sites fall outside of the immediate control of financial institutions, with increased Internet security and upgraded computer security software the most commonly cited reasons.
Reasons for Increased Sense of Security on Online Banking Web Sites
Source: comScore, Inc.
More online security in general 41%
Upgraded security software on computer used
to access site 38%
Asked different questions each time logging
on to the site 30%
Have used the identity theft protection
offered by the site 24%
Site allows customization with a picture
of the user’s choice 21%
Wachovia Received the Highest Satisfaction Ratings
Among the top five banks, Wachovia customers were the most satisfied both in terms of their overall banking relationship and with the bank’s Web site, maintaining the lead for the third year in a row. 75 percent of Wachovia customers responded that they were highly satisfied with their banking relationship, up from 73 percent in 2005. Of these highly satisfied customers, 96 percent were also highly satisfied with the Wachovia website. Washington Mutual ranked second on both measures.
Modest Consumer Demand for Mobile Account Access
While mobile Internet use continues to rise, less than a quarter of those who currently bank online are interested in mobile bank account access. The top reason cited for not being interested in mobile banking was the need for a mobile Internet subscription. Of those interested in mobile banking, the most desired service was balance inquiries.
Additional analysis and survey results are available in the 2007 comScore Online Banking Report.
About comScore’s 2007 Online Banking Report
The 2007 comScore Online Banking Report leverages comScore’s proprietary panel of more than two million online consumers. Additional information was gathered through a survey conducted of over 1,400 U.S. online banking consumers from April 3-9, 2007 to further understand their banking relationships, attitudes, and intentions.
comScore’s 2007 Online Banking Report includes:
— Quarterly online banking statistics
— Attitudinal insight into customer perception of Internet and online banking security
— Customer satisfaction
— Usage of online banking services
— Interest in mobile account access
Financial services professionals and members of the media may request comScore’s 2007 Online Banking Report by visiting http://www.comscore.com/online_banking_report
comScore, Inc. is a global leader in measuring the digital world. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. comScore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its proprietary technology, comScore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. comScore analysts apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. comScore services are used by global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestle, MBNA, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please visit http://www.comscore.com .