Convenience Driving Online Banking Growth
More than two million U.S. households used online banking and bill payment last year, according to a survey sponsored by Fiserv and conducted by Harris Interactive.
A total of 69.7 million households with Internet access now use online banking services to access balance, account history and to transfer money between accounts. In addition, 64.4 million households pay at least one bill online at a bank website or at a company website.
"We believe that consumers will continue to conduct more and more of their financial activities online," said Geoff Knapp, vice president, Online Banking & Consumer Insights, Fiserv.
"Online banking and bill payment is a free service, and a convenient and environmentally friendly way to bank. Consumers are actively becoming fans of the user-friendly, secure services financial institutions are implementing."
Among those surveyed, 41 percent of online banking users said they planned to pay more bills online at their financial institution’s website in the coming months, while 35 percent who pay bills directly at company websites said they plan to pay more bills online at those sites.
The survey found the major reasons people pay bills online were:
Speed – 79 percent of consumers said that they preferred to pay bills online because it was faster than other payment methods.
Ease of Use – 72 percent of consumers said paying online was easier than paying by check.
Cost Savings – 71 percent of consumers said they liked saving money on stamps.
Control – 71 percent of consumers said that paying bills online gave them more control over the timing of their payments.
The survey also found people who pay bills online at a bank website are more likely to continue doing business with their bank.
49 percent of consumers who use online bill pay said they are less likely to switch banks due to their experience, up from 43 percent last year.
67 percent of online bill pay users would recommend their bank to a friend or relative.
Over a period of three months, 38 percent of online bill pay users recommended the service to others. Those recommending the service did so an average of two times.