The Growth of Online Banking

The internet may be growing fast, yet the only thing growing quicker is online and mobile banking. Moreover, the survey reporting this information also found that this practice is not a restriction to any certain group. It is growing across a deep and wide demographic that includes age, income and gender.

The Demographics

Internet hardware is now in 95 million households. Of that number, online banking occurs in approximately 72,500,000 of those households and those who are utilizing it are extremely loyal to their bank of choice. About half of those households also use the bank's bill pay rather than going to a website and paying what they owe.

More important is the fact that the option to participate in paperless billing has become more popular much faster than originally thought. These new trends became apparent over the past ten years, according to Geoff Knapp, Fiserv vice-president of Online Banking / Consumer Insights.

Population Segmentation

The trend began with computer-knowledgeable, tech-savvy young males, which is common when new technology hits the market. It became a household necessity when the remainder of the population found out about it. From busy teens to the elderly and disabled, online banking is now a normal part of our way of life.

One segment of the population appears to delegate the services that a bank offers. Generation Y are people born between 1970 and 1990. They tend to embrace technology as fast as it comes on the market. This group is also adept at finding others to do some technology tasks, especially direct billing services. These group members, until now, have been making biller-direct payments, dealing with student loans, credit cards and living daily life on campus in hand-to-mouth fashion.

Looking Forward

Online Banking forecasts indicate Generation Y will drive this aspect of technology as it goes forward. This group will become 40% of all households using online banking by 2014. Until recently, online banking saw annual spurts of 25-27%, which slowed to 8% and it would slow further, according to the forecasters. From 2009 until 2014, growth should be approximately 4% per year as 66 million households enter the fold.

Consumers generally learn about these shortcuts of modern life by word-of-mouth. Online banking became popular as the result of introductions made by the various banks in the interest of complete disclosure of services. There is room for growth in this technological environment as segments of the population are still under-served.

Environmental Responsibility

The main positive outcome is environmental in nature. Generation Y will bring this to the forefront and, possibly, be the group to enlighten others. There are very few of members of this group who use paper and pen anymore.

They also make use of paperless billing, which deserves environmental kudos for saving the trees. Less paper use means less trash generated, which means less use of landfills. Finally, our carbon footprint will decrease because people are not driving to the physical building to complete necessary bank business.

Societal Inclusion

Successful first time logins will bring more use from seniors with memory deficits. They often make requests to online banking personnel to recover a user ID and/or passwords. This upcoming population will work out those remaining kinks in the system so that no member of society will be without access.