Checks Likely To Be Phased Out As Online Banking Thrives


Checks may soon be a thing of the past, as this medium of payment is steadily being phased out in favor of quicker and less labor-intensive online banking. Undoubtedly for example, paying bills with checks is not as popular as it used to be, and worldwide, the bodies that monitor and regulate banking systems have been giving customers the opportunity to not have checks at all.

The truth is, these days, very few persons actually use checks, especially in more developed countries such as the USA, UK, Canada and Australia, and although its sad to say, many of the demographic (older individuals over the age of 60) that still hang on to the use of checks are fading (passing away) slowly but surely every year, make it inevitable that electronic/digital will triumph eventually.

From all angles, the check and other manual/paper forms of financial transactions are being replaced because of Internet banking and Internet-based transactions. A classic example is in the area of billing. e-billing software are rapidly replacing those manual/printed invoices that a company would need in order to authorize a check for signing.

Surely the writing is on the wall. Online banking and Internet-based transactions are here to stay, and here to replace the manual/printed.

Many UK Adults Spending A Lot Of Time Internet Banking


According to recent research by the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society in the United Kingdom (UK), adults in that country spend a 143 million hours of leisure time online everyday day, with general research, internet banking and news sites being among the most visited.

According to the study, many persons are taking an avid interest in their finances by using internet banking, with an estimated one in five logging on every single day. Still going to your branch, but just about ready to try Internet banking? Make sure you have a secure internet service high speed connection when banking over the internet, it can mean the difference between an amazing online experience and disaster.

Internet Banking Is Now The #1 Banking Method


According to an August 2009 survey of U.S. consumers by the American Bankers Association (ABA), Internet banking is now the No. 1 method of banking.

One-quarter of respondents preferred Internet banking to using branches, ATMs or any other channel.

Here are the actual numbers for the “Preferred banking method of U.S. consumers”:
– Internet banking 25%
– Branches 21%
– ATM 17%
– Mail 9%
– Telephone 4%
– Mobile 1%
– Unknown 23%

Internet banking was not only popular with the youngest consumers—it was the top response of all those under age 55. Older bank customers still preferred their local branch (26%) and ATMs (17%), but the popularity of branches and ATMs was down in all age groups (compared to 2008).

The results of this survey make it clear that for the first time, more consumers prefer the speed and convenience of conducting their banking transactions on the Internet, rather than visiting their local branch. It also indicates that consumers now have more confidence in the accuracy and security of online banking.

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Nearly 70 Million U.S. Households Now Use Internet banking


More than two million American households adopted internet banking and bill payment during the past year, raising the total to nearly 70 million – this, according to a recent survey by Fiserv Inc., a financial services technology company.

Fiserv said that 69.7 million households (four out of five households with Internet access), now use internet banking services. They are typically accessing balance and account history, and transferring money between accounts. Additionally, 64.4 million households pay at least one bill via the Internet, either at a bank Web site or directly through a company Web site.

Consumers are clearly looking for faster and easier ways to get things done, and people who pay their bills via the internet save time (compared with paying by check). Of those surveyed, 41% of internet banking users indicated that they planned to pay more bills online at their financial institution’s Web site in the coming months, while 35% of those who pay bills directly at company Web sites, said they planned to pay more bills online at those sites.

The Fiserv-sponsored survey reflects the habits of the 88.2 million households in the U.S. with Internet access. It was conducted by The Marketing Workshop and Harris Interactive.

Internet Banking Via Mobile Devices Growing


According to a recent report from comScore Inc., access to mobile banking is growing at such a rapid pace that a substantial percentage of users are now accessing their mobile accounts from home on their smartphones and handsets rather than on their PCs at home.

In its inaugural report on the Mobile Financial Services Market which was released recently, comScore said respondents to its survey which examined the use of mobile banking access on mobile phones and 3G service, found that 31% actually accessed financial accounts on mobile phones at home. The next largest percentage — 25% — accessed accounts while running errands. Other times and places from which respondents accessed their bank accounts were: while commuting, 15%; at work, 11%; on vacation, 9%; and business travel, 8%.

Additionally, 44.1% of respondents in the study accessed their financial accounts via Internet browsers while 40.6% used applications to access their accounts. Another 25% of mobile banking customers used SMS texting to access their accounts.

The increasing adoption of smartphones and access to 3G networks, along with the rapid development of mobile apps, has undoubtedly created a very fertile environment for the acceleration of mobile banking. With that, internet banking via mobile devices has been growing at a rapid pace in the U.S., so look out for a more global embrace of the technology soon.

Internet Banking Grows In Jamaica


The largest commercial banks in Jamaica, the third largest island in the Caribbean, are reporting a significant growth in the number of customers who are using internet banking, a free service.

The trend suggests a direct response to banks’ increasing service charges, which represent billions in annual revenues for the two largest commercial banks in that country – Scotiabank and National Commercial Bank (NCB).

Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica (BNS), which upgraded its internet banking service in the first quarter of this year, has is already reporting a 25% jump in the use of internet banking – only halfway through year. Some 37,000, or 10%, of its active customers use ScotiaBank’s internet banking service. BNS is Jamaica’s largest bank in terms of deposits.

NCB, the largest bank in terms of assets, is reporting that internet banking represented 46% of all transactions in May of this year, up from 42% in January.

Together, BNS and NCB control 70% of Jamaica’s commercial banking market.

Logically, as more people in Jamaica get access to Internet, more are using it as their primary way of banking. It is the easiest of all banking channels, even easier than telephone banking.

There are also savings to be realized by those who bank online in Jamaica. Those who utilize internet banking save on fees that they would normally pay for transactions within a branch, bill-payment charges and most importantly, they save on time. They also have the added convenience of being able to do their banking anywhere, any time.

Chinese Consumers Reluctant To Embrace Internet Banking


According to a recent survey by Chinese marketing and business information services provider iResearch, concerns caused by the prospect of falling victim to identity theft has caused 28% of Chinese consumers to cut back on their use of Internet banking and online payment activities.

According to the survey, 3% of Internet banking users indicated they have given up online banking activities or are planning to do so in order to protect their identity. The research also polled potential Internet banking users, 58% of whom stated they have decided to postpone their intentions of taking up internet banking for personal financial management, while almost 25% of interviewees state they have actually decided to give up on their intentions completely. Moreover, 63% of polled consumers said they are currently exercising more caution regarding the financial activities they carry out online, this in order to avoid identity theft.

Asia-Pacific Banks To Converge Their Mobile & Internet Banking Channels


A new report by Financial Insights has revealed that banks in the Asia-Pacific region will increasingly converge their mobile and Internet banking channels over the next 12 months. In the process, this will impact how banks and other financial institutions craft their channel strategies and engage with customers.

Convergence is reportedly being driven by banks that are aiming to make financial services available to customers anywhere and at any time. They have to grapple with various issues as they converge the two channels including: (1) the level of mobile technology capable of commonly supporting financial transactions over mobile devices; (2) getting the various parties on board and in agreement; and (3) a user-friendly interface.

Improved mobile technology has allowed financial institutions to provide applications that can work on a large number of mobile phones. Thus, the availability of innovative mobile devices across the region will undoubtedly help it to become the common banking channel in the Asia-Pacific region in 2009 and beyond.