Online banking gaining ground in financial crisis - Forrester

Online banking gaining ground in financial crisis - Forrester

US consumers are paying more attention to their finances and using the online banking channel more frequently to access their accounts during the current global financial crisis, according to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Fiserv

Some 71% of consumers said they are keeping a closer eye on their finances than they did a year ago, with three-quarters using the online banking channel to keep tabs on their spending.

Indeed, online banking usage increased far more than any other banking channel, says Forrester, with 28% of consumers indicating they are using the Web more than they did a year ago.

In contrast, only 10% of the 1,009 US consumers surveyed online in October 2008 reported increasing their ATM use, just nine percent visit their bank branch more often, six percent are using the bank's automated phone service more frequently, and four percent are calling customer service more often than they did a year ago.

Todd Lesher, division president, Fiserv electronic banking services, comments: "This survey indicates that online banking is still a great opportunity for financial institutions looking to strengthen their ties with consumers. Consumers are using online banking more frequently to monitor their cash flow, manage their finances more actively and save money on stamps."

The results run contrary to a recent study by comScore, which suggested that engagement at many of the top banking sites in fact declined in Q3 2008 versus a year ago. Four out of the top five online banking sites experienced declines in the average number of minutes spent per visitor in the third quarter of 2008 versus a year ago, says comScore, with Wachovia down 12% and JP Morgan Chase down eight percent.

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