September 12, 2011

Customer preference of the online banking channel is growing rapidly, according to the results of a recent survey from Washington, D.C.-based American Bankers Association (ABA). The survey, conducted by global market research company Ipsos Public Affairs (Paris), asked more than 2,000 U.S. adults to identify their preferred method of banking.

The results reveal that 62 percent of adults prefer to use the online channel to do their banking -- up from 36 percent in last year's survey. And for the first time, the majority (57 percent) of customers 55 and older say they opt to do their banking online, a significant increase from 20 percent in 2010.

The popularity of all other banking methods has declined since last year's survey, with preference for branches dropping from 25 percent to 20 percent and preference for ATMs dropping from 15 percent to 8 percent. The least preferred method of banking was the mobile channel, which dropped from 3 percent in 2011 to 1 percent this year.

"These survey results hammer home the point that retail banking has changed for good," said Nessa Feddis, ABA senior counsel and retail banking expert, in a news release announcing the survey results. "They tell us for the first time that customers of all age groups prefer the speed and convenience of conducting their banking transactions on the Internet to visiting their local branch or ATM. They also tell us that customers trust the accuracy and security of online banking."

ABA has conducted this survey annually since 1998. The results have been weighed to reflect national data, with a margin error of +/- 2.2 percent.

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