Thursday, February 19, 2009

Studies contradict online banking activity?

Two recently released studies seem to be contradicting one another when it comes to online banking stats.

One study was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Fiserv, Inc., an information technology services provider for the financial industry. In a Fiserv news release dated February 12th, Fiserv said
“U.S. 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.”

The release went on to say that. . .
“Online banking usage increased far more than any other banking channel, with 28 percent of consumers indicating they are using online banking more than they did a year ago.”

“In these difficult times, financial institutions are looking for new ways to reach out to consumers and provide value,” said Todd Lesher, division president, Fiserv Electronic Banking Services. “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.”

In contrast, a report from another researcher, comScore, seems to see the situation differently.

According to a comScore news release on January 22nd, consumers are spending less time on their bank’s website due to the poor economy. Marc Trudeau, senior director of comScore’s Finanial services commented in the release. . .

“We’re seeing shifts in the way consumers manage their finances online, such as less frequent and shorter visits to their banking Web site. . .”

The Reston, Va.-based digital marketing research firm noted that. . .
“Engagement at many of the top banking sites declined in Q3 2008 versus a year ago. Four out of the top 5 online banking sites experienced declines in the average number of minutes spent per visitor in the third quarter of 2008 versus year ago.”

comScore studied the top 10 online U.S. banking sites which included Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase.

My interpretation of these studies? To me they seem like a contraction with the Forrester/Fiserv study claiming an increase in online banking, while comScore’s research sees a decrease in activity. The discrepancy could be that comScore only looked at the top 10 online banks. Do others view the research in the same vein?

1 comment:

Jason K said...

I can't speak to the research, but I can say that our usage has continued to grow, both in numbers and activity. Mobile banking has also seen slow, steady growth.