Internet-only banks outsmarting established players online

Internet-only banks outsmarting established players online

Pure-play Internet banks are ahead of traditional US banks when ranked for ease of online credit card applications, says Oregan-based WebCriteria.

E-Trade Bank ranked highest overall as well as leading the Internet only sites, while Fleet Bank led the traditional banks in ease of use. Other sites rated include pure-plays, First Internet Bank and Umbrella Bank, and traditional institutions such as Bank of America, Bank One, and First Union.

Alistair Williamson, CEO of WebCriteria, predicts the number of households online will jump from 14.6 million presently to more than 43 million by 2005. Associated with this growth, more consumers will demand online banking, either through their traditional bank or one of the new Internet pure-plays. "In order for these banks to survive, they must satisfy consumer financial needs and provide a positive online customer experience," says Williamson.

The sites were ranked in order of the time and effort required to apply for a credit card online. Internet only banks evaluated had the lowest time and effort with an average of over four minutes, whereas traditional banks required an average of over five minutes to complete the task.

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