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ABA study: Popularity of online banking growing

WASHINGTON — A new survey by the American Bankers Association (ABA) shows that for the second year in a row, most bank customers (36 percent) prefer to do their banking online compared to any other method.

Last year, 25 percent of customers favored online banking.

The annual survey of more than 1,000 consumers was conducted for ABA by Ipsos-Public Affairs, an independent market research firm August 14-15, 2010.

“Clearly, online banking has fully penetrated the market,” said Nessa Feddis, ABA vice president, senior counsel and retail banking expert. “Online banking is the future of banking as more Generation Y-ers enter the marketplace. This means the industry will need to continue investing in technology that supports online banking because consumers see it as quick, convenient, accurate and safe.”

Survey results showed that the popularity of online banking was not exclusive to the youngest consumers: it was the preferred banking method for all bank customers under the age of 55. Consumers over 55 still prefer to visit their local branch (33 percent). Online banking for this age group was the second favorite way to conduct banking transactions (20 percent).

Among all consumers, the preference for online banking was followed by visiting branches (25 percent) and using ATMs (15 percent). The use of mobile banking (cell phones, PDAs, etc.) was preferred by three percent of consumers, primarily among 18 to 34 year olds. The popularity of ATMs was down in all age groups.

Consumers who cited online banking as their favorite banking method were more likely to be under 55 years of age, have an income over $75,000 and live in the western part of the United States.

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