First Union clocks up three  million online customers

First Union clocks up three million online customers

US bank First Union Corporation has signed up its three-millionth online customer. Since 1999 the bank has more than tripled its online customer base, enrolling an average of 3000 to 4000 customers daily.

Online banking enrollments now represent more than 40 per cent of First Union's current account base and online bill-pay enrollments have grown at more than 170 per cent over the last year.

Kellie Scott, First Union's director of e-channels and senior vice president, says: "Our Internet strategy is focused on the customer; providing simple, convenient access to financial services is our ultimate goal."

First Union's research shows that online customers prefer to interact with the bank via multiple delivery channels more frequently than offline customers, says Scott. These customers also have more products and stay with the bank longer, she adds.

For retail customers, First Union Online offers an integrated view and access to multiple account relationships including: trading, chequeing, savings, credit cards, loans and investments. In addition, the bank recently launched account aggregation services whereby customers can access a consolidated view of their financial information, as well as non-financial services such as e-mail accounts and frequent flier miles.

First Union's business offering includes the ability to track account activity, transfer funds, view balances and issue stop payments. These services also have been met with rapid customer adoption, claims the bank, with more than 6000 small business customers per month enrolling for online services.

Following the consummation of First Union and Wachovia's proposed merger, it is expected the combined online customer base will exceed more than 3.5 million enrollments.

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