Wachovia tops Web banking experience survey

Wachovia tops Web banking experience survey

Wachovia's Web banking site provides the best online experience for prospective customers according to a US study conducted by California-based Keynote Systems.

Keynote monitored 2000 customers as they interacted with 10 online banking sites for the study and found that the Wachovia site, followed by the Bank of America and Washington Mutual sites, provided the best customer experience and also outperformed other banks in the competition for acquiring customers online.
The research found that prospective customers looking at the Wachovia and Bank of America sites were over 20% more likely to say they would open an account than the average across the 10 sites.

Bonny Brown, director of research and public services at Keynote, says after fees and free chequeing, banking Web sites play an increasing role in influencing consumers' selection of banks and their perception of bank brands.

"The experience of a prospect on a banking Web site is becoming of ever increasing importance in the acquisition of new customers... And the sites that provide the best experience are clearly winning out in the competition for new customers," says Brown.

Wells Fargo's Web banking site topped the service level catergory, which measured response time, response consistency, geographic uniformity, load handling, page design, network connectivity, site reliability and outage hours. Washington Mutual came second in the category, followed by Wachovia and Bank of America.

But Keynote says the study found that the gulf between the most and least reliable banks is enormous. The best bank was down only four minutes during the entire month of the study, while the worst bank reported over 29 hours of downtime.

Overall, about half the banks Keynote tested experienced significant outages during the study. Outages were often observed during peak periods and the research also revealed that the core application-processing component of many sites, which is the key to acquisition of new customers, was the most error prone.

Chris Loosley, general manager, service level business unit for Keynote, says: "Although the banking industry has set a high standard for online service, no bank dominated every one of the 10 key performance factors, showing that banks need to work on all 10 areas. Indeed, even the best banks have room for improvement."

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