More than 22 million Americans logged into online accounts at the top ten US banks in Q1 2004, an increase of 29% from Q1 2003, while use of bill payment services increased 37%, according to statistics from consumer measurement and analysis firm comScore Networks.
ComScore says online banking and bill payment continue to be among the fastest growing applications on the Internet.
Jim Larrison, vice president of comScore Financial Services Solutions, says: "The continued proliferation of broadband access, coupled with heavy online and offline promotion, have helped the nation's largest banks bring more than five million customers online in the past year."
More than 4.6 million consumers, or about 20% of the Web banking population, used online bill payment services during Q1, with consumers paying an average of 14 bills via the Internet.
Larrison says consumer use of online bill payment is correlated with greater loyalty to a bank and higher account balances: "These benefits, along with the significant cost savings that come with processing transactions online instead of on paper, have led top banks to offer their customers compelling incentives to use such services."
The comScore research also evaluated a bank's performance in engaging its customers online. The firm's Online Banking Development Index (BDI) comprises of ten components across three categories - adoption, engagement and loyalty. Bank of America topped the table, followed by Citibank and Fleet. Bank of America was also found to be the most successful in engaging customers and Citibank was the leader in the adoption catergory. However Wachovia came top in inspiring loyalty.