Study: Do Customers Prefer Online Banks?

More Americans than ever are logging on to save. Not so surprising, is it?

According to a 2009 study by Javelin Research, in 2009, the U.S. population was estimated at about 306 million people. That includes 232 million adults, 118 million households and 86 million households that are online. Of those “online” households, more than 70 million now bank online.

Compare that to 1998, where only 6.6 million American households were banking online, and 32 million houses banking via the Internet in 2003, says IDC Research.

It’s all about four factors: speed, ease of use, cost savings and control. Time and time again, those are the four factors that lead consumers to online banking.

OK, but now on to the real surprise — a new study by Mintel Compermedia says that, despite all the acknowledged gains from online banking, consumers still prefer to conduct their banking business on a face-to-face basis.

Whether it’s due to anxiety or mistrust (or a combination of both) bank customers seem to value bank contact on bank premises.

According to the Mintel study, 65% of survey respondents told Mintel they want to contact their bank in person, versus 44% who opt for their bank’s Web site; and 34% who prefer to reach out to their bank via e-mail. Mintel says 43% like to let their fingers do the walking and contact their banks via the telephone.

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