UK supermarket bank Sainsbury's says the percentage of financial products sold via its Web site has more than doubled over the last two years to 40%.
Fewer than one in five (18%) purchases were made via the Sainsbury's Bank Web site two years ago. This rose to 30% in January this year and has since increased again to around 40%.
The bank is also reporting a 73% increase in vistors to its Web site over the past 12 months. The site receives more more than 23,000 visits each day.
The most popular financial products purchased online are life insurance, car insurance and pet insurance.
Sainsbury's says it expects the upward trend for purchasing financial services online to continue and cites research from GfK Financial, which predicts that during the 12 months to June 2006, 4.8 million people will have completed a financial application online, compared to 3.9 million during the same period 2004-2005, signifying a 23% increase of almost one million.
Kevin Barrett, director of e-commerce, Sainsbury's Bank, says: "The general acceptance of buying goods or services online means that the Web is now a mainstream and vital channel for businesses to interact with and sell to customers. Web sites act as a 'shop front' and are increasingly the customers' primary contact with a brand."
Barrett says broadband technology is a possible driver behind the growth of online financial services, along with greater customer awareness of Internet payment security systems.
"We believe that consumers' confidence is on an upwards curve and once an individual makes one successful transaction, they are more willing to repeat the experience," he adds.