E-banking draws half of online US population

E-banking draws half of online US population

Around half of all American adults who use the Internet also bank online, according to research from HSBC Direct.

A poll of 2040 adults who are active online shows 49% conducts most, if not all, of their banking via the Internet, up nearly 23% from early 2007.

While the research shows 62% of people aged 21 to 34 conduct the majority of their banking via the Internet, around 40% of those aged 45 to 69 are also now mainly managing their finances online.

HSBC Direct suggests one of the main reasons for the increasing popularity of Web banking is its convenience. Web activity figures for its own site show that 39% of customers conducted their online banking between 6.00 pm and 7.00 am eastern time last year, whilst almost a quarter of traffic came at the weekend.

"People are increasingly turning to Internet banking because of the increased convenience, independence and typically better value that it offers," says Kevin Martin, EVP, personal financial services, HSBC Bank USA.

HSBC Direct says its findings align with projections from Forrester Research that indicate 92 million, or 76%, of American households are expected to be banking online by 2011.

In February a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Fiserv found that US consumers are using the online banking channel more frequently to access their accounts during the current global financial crisis.

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.

But these results run contrary to a 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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