Are Consumers Satisfied with Online Banking?

It is undeniable that consumers are increasingly living their lives online. From buying a book, to viewing a photo, to posting a tweet through the use of Twitter, individuals are turning to the internet for a myriad of reasons. Financial services is certainly not immune to this digital migration. While it is clear that online banking usage and adoption is growing, it is less obvious how consumers view their current experience. Are consumers really satisfied with online banking functionality? We surveyed existing online bankers to find out.

The chart below illustrates consumers satisfaction with their current online banking experience across a variety of areas. The most apparent conclusion from this data is that consumers, in general, are very satisfied with most banking functionality offered online. For instance, fewer than one in ten consumers who currently use online bill pay are either indifferent towards or dissatisfied with the experience. The immediate inhibitor to continued growth in adoption of online banking functionality is thus not the usability of these site features, but rather convincing consumers to try them out in the first place.

The data below shows the percentage of existing online bankers that currently use particular types of online banking features. While in the above chart 92% of respondents that use bill pay are happy with the experience, only 54% of online bankers choose to utilize this feature in the first place. Banks need to do a better job of driving initial trial for online banking functionality, for once consumers engage with these offerings they typically are satisfied with their experience.

Traditional marketing efforts promoting features and functionality across multiple distribution channels are clearly one way to drive trial. However, perhaps an additional way in which banks can drive trial of online banking functionality is to more aggressively leverage the high satisfaction levels of existing consumers by letting individuals speak to each other in an online community. It is not unprecedented for banks to create an online community around a particular topic area. Bank of America, for instance, created a compelling online community for small business owners. Letting consumers learn from the experiences of others is likely to drive increased trust in the bank and thus impact trial. It will be interesting to monitor the adoption of specific online banking features over time and what banks specifically do to drive trial.

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