Online banking executives in the US are anticipating budgetary windfalls for 2010 as banks look to the Internet as a powerful channel for re-engaging with existing and prospective customers.
A new report from Aite Group, which is based on interviews with senior online channel executives from 20 of the 100 largest US banks, reveals that the majority are optimistic about their budgets for 2010.
Among the banks surveyed, half anticipate budget increases more than 15% higher than 2009 budgets, while a further 35% expect to see spending rise by between five and 15%. Only 15% forecast no change in spending and none of the sample expect their budgets to be cut.
Driving this renewed focus is a stronger commitment from senior management, according to interviewees, and a desire to improve their bank's ability to integrate sales, service and the customer experience across channels.
However, banks will pursue different online strategies, says Aite. Some will pinpoint online sales and marketing, while others will focus on online service or improving the customer experience.
"Despite the attention that the online channel has received and its promise to revolutionize traditional banking, many banks have never truly embraced it as a primary channel for customer interactions and transactions," says Ron Shevlin, senior analyst with Aite Group and author of this report. "The tide is finally turning. The combination of two forces - banks waking up to the reality of consumer behavior, and the ascent of a younger group of managers with a more accepting view of technology - is finally helping to bring about this change."