TowerGroup Examines 10 Web Sites Used by Close to 23 Million American Consumers

Sunday 12 October 2003 15:08 CET | News

Consumers seldom get a chance to try an Internet banking service before they enroll, and once enrolled, they have no way of comparing one sites capabilities with anothers.

The result is that most consumers arent aware if their online banking provider is ahead of or behind the curve with respect to features, ease of use and service. A new review by TowerGroup of the top 10 US e-banking Web sites (ranked by number of consumers using the service), evaluated several aspects of core online banking components. These included electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP), historical account information, account aggregation, account alerts, document image archive, customer self-service functionality and more. TowerGroup found that while most top banking sites offer the core features associated with online banking like account history and bill payment, there are significant variations in what these institutions offer to consumers in terms of actual functionality and usability. Combined, these sites are used by nearly 23 million US consumers. Highlights of the findings include: Top US banks are cautiously implementing Internet banking features that have a high likelihood of increasing direct revenues, reducing costs or improving customer profitability. They are looking to emerging features -- such as online check and statement images, account alerts and pre-filled online application -- to achieve these objectives. The range and quality of offerings by large, consumer-focused institutions varies greatly -- even despite the relative maturity of Internet banking and wealth of features provided by leading vendors of Internet banking applications. While all top online banks provide the common core components generally associated with Internet banking (e.g., account history, account transfers and bill payment), differences among actual features offered within these core components are striking. The top sites fell into three categories: leading providers that couple broader levels of features and functions with highly usable interfaces; mid- tier providers that offer capable online sites that lack the range of functionality of the leading sites; and bottom-tier sites that deliver the basics but discernibly lack comprehensive functionality and/or usability.

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Categories: Banking & Fintech | Online & Mobile Banking
Countries: World
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