February 15, 2005, 10:57 AM — Online banking has jumped a whopping 47% in the last two years, indicating that consumers are becoming comfortable with handling financial transactions over the Internet. The percentage of Americans doing banking chores online daily has grown even more, by 58% since 2002.
According to a report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, fifty-three million people, 44% of Internet users, now say they use online banking. Those figures amount to an increase of 47% over the number of Americans who were banking online in late 2002.
Of all the major Internet activities tracked by the Project since its inaugural survey in March 2000, online banking has grown the fastest.
The survey identified several key characteristics of online bankers:
Broadband use: Online bankers tend to be broadband users. Nearly twice as many broadband users have tried online banking as dial-up users. As broadband adoption increases, online banking should also.
GenX: GenX users are the first adopters for online banking. 60% of those 28-39 have tried online banking, compared to 38% of those 18-27, and 25% of those over 60.
Gender: Men are more likely to bank online than women. Approximately 49% of men with Internet connections reported trying online banking services, 10% more than female Internet users.
Well-off: People with higher education and incomes are more likely to try online banking. Online banking is most likely to be performed by people with household incomes of $75,000 or more; with a college or graduate degree; and living in the suburbs.
According to the Pew's Susannah Fox, "This rise in online banking likely flows from two major trends. The first is that as internet users gain more experience online, they are more likely to perform activities that involve money, such as making online purchases and travel reservations, and participating in online auctions."