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Half of Americans want to do all banking online

22 May 2012  |  8468 views  |  6 Hands on keyboard

Nearly half of Americans would do all of their banking online if they could, according to a survey from interactive agency Rosetta.

Of just over 1100 respondents, 52% say that their provider's Web site is their primary method of banking, with 48% revealing that they would do it all online if it were possible. In contrast only a third of respondents consider the branch their primary method of banking.

Currently, Web banking is used primarily to check account balances and recent activity, make individual bill payments, transfer money between accounts and obtain financial information.

Ned Elton, managing partner, Rosetta, says: "Cash transactions, such as deposits and withdrawals, continue to keep consumers tethered to the branch. However, this is becoming less of a factor because people are using credit more often than cash and because of the emergence of alternative payment options, such as PayPal and near field communications."

Other factors preventing people from going fully online include security and privacy concerns, cited by 64% of respondents. Over half also want 'clear and easy-to-follow' online layouts, and 58% express interest in rewards or points programs for e-banking.

Says Elton: "Banks are missing an opportunity to better engage with consumers online and create a consistent brand experience across all channels. Retail bank marketers need to identify ways to apply the same level of personal touch and feel currently offered to retail branch customers through the online channel."

Comments: (6)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 22 May, 2012, 12:34

Of course we want to do our banking online! Banks have made visiting the branch a pain-in-the-you-know-what. Indifferent tellers, fees for visiting, limited hours, etc. all add up to not wanting to visit a branch.

Having said that, I must say my current Credit Union has made it very easy to bank online: scanned deposits, web bill-pay, and decent web portal make it easier to bank from home. Their mobile app still needs work, but overall it is more convenient to "bank from home."

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 23 May, 2012, 15:22

I already do and have done so for years. My son does not know what a cheque book is. Just a matter of time my friends

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 24 May, 2012, 13:50

"Retail bank marketers need to identify ways to apply the same level of personal touch and feel currently offered to retail branch customers through the online channel." Personal touch in a branch? Which bank's branch, which century, may I ask?

If 52% prefer Web, balance 48% would prefer Web, that accounts for 100%. From where does the "third of respondents" come from that considers "the branch their primary method of banking"? Whatever happened to phone, mobile and social media channels?

While minimizing friction in Internet Banking can undoubtedly foster greater adoption of the web channel, numbers in this survey simply don't add up. Personally, I might never visit a branch unless the bank forces me to visit it, but that's not necessarily a universal behavior.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 24 May, 2012, 14:02

Mr. Swaminathan,

I respectfully disagree. I think it is universal behavior to avoid the branch. Anytime I hear someone say they have to go to the bank, it is usually as a last resort and they're not looking forward to the visit.

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 25 May, 2012, 12:36

You've a problem with a certain transaction. You try Phone Banking and can't get the CSR to understand your problem. You then try to log a complaint on Internet Banking but fail to find your problem listed on the dropdown boxes from which you must select one entry. You then send an email (assuming your bank allows you to log complaints in this manner) but, beyond the AutoResponse Message, you don't hear back from the bank. You try social media. You might be lucky and get your problem resolved there. However, it's more likely that the bank will ask you to report your problem on its website or via email. So, you're back to Square One. You finally decide to ditch all remote channels, make a trip to the branch and howl at the branch manager. Problem solved.

Surely, you never looked forward to visiting the branch. Surely, you visited the branch as a last resort. Not sure if @Finextra Member meant 'not looking forward' and 'last resort' in this way but, until you visited the branch, the problem didn't go away.

I'm not suggesting that banks should not invest in digital channels. My point, expressed in my three part personal blog post titled "Jumping On The Omnichannel Bandwagon", is only that each channel has certain unique strengths and banks should not ignore them. According to a recent CapGemini-EFMA Retail Banking report, customers consider Branch and Internet Banking as their primary channels.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 25 May, 2012, 13:01

From a business and personal point of view i have not visited my bank for years and years. All payments and receipts are on line against electronic invoices. I will no doubt soon explore mobile payments from the phone and further take control of my finances

I cant see the future looking much different for most people than from what i do. Does depend on the services from your bank i guess and maybe i am spoilt because my bank is very good

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