Interest in online banking has been steadily increasing in the United States, which will result in a dramatic rise in user participation over the next two years. According to IDC, the number of US households banking online will skyrocket to 22.8 million in 2004.
The statistics have serious implications for the banking industry, says IDC.
The figures suggest that banks which fail to respond to demand for online services will find themselves competitively disadvantaged over the next 24 months. As more "traditional" banks come online, the "virtual" banks will need to adjust their business models to remain relevant, says IDC.
Shaw Lively, research manager for IDC's Online Financial Services programme comments: "As the number of US online banking households grows, banks will need to stop thinking about the Internet as an alternative channel and instead think of it as a mainstream channel every bit as important as branches, call centres, and ATMs."