Almost six in ten (58%) Australians rate Internet banking as one of the consumer technology advances that has made the biggest improvement to their lives in the last ten years – second only to the mobile phone (66%) and way ahead of music technology such as the iPod and MP3 players (35%).
The consumer views were elicited from over 1000 telephone interviews conducted for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's second annual 'E-Money' survey.
Levels of attachment to the online channel were strong among interviewees. Thirty-nine per cent of the sample preferred online banking to any other method, ahead of banking in a branch (27%), ATM banking (20%) and telephone banking (12%). Among regular users, 61% said that they would feel lost without it or that it would greatly impact their banking habits if the service ceased to exist.
The poll also recorded a surge in uptake among older people, with nearly half a million Australians aged 50 and over (440,000) signing up to Internet banking since the inaugural 2006 E-Money survey - a 26% increase year on year.
Ross McEwan, acting head of the Commonwealth Bank’s Retail Bank, observes: "For Gen X and Y, online banking is a part of everyday life, but now the Baby Boomers are catching up and taking up online banking at a faster rate than ever before."
McEwan says the survey found that Internet banking users were taking greater responsibility for online security generally, with nine out of ten users rating online banking systems as secure.
"As well as signing up for additional security measures like Two Factor Authentication using Tokens or SMS, users are taking additional steps to safeguard all their online activity and generally becoming more security-savvy," says McEwan.