Customers want better online banking features

Banks are not doing enough online says Gartner

July 23, 2009

Banks are not doing enough online says Gartner

Consumers most value online banking features that address communication and personalization, according to recent surveys by Gartner.

However, financial institutions could be failing to capitalize on online banking by not providing the features that consumers really want.

“As consumer adoption of online banking increases, banks are searching for ways to differentiate their services while maximizing the cost-effectiveness of self-service channels,” said Stessa Cohen, research director at Gartner. “Online banking represents a key opportunity to achieve these objectives if banks can provide the features that consumers prize most highly.”

In December 2008 and January 2009, Gartner surveyed of 3,988 consumers 18 years or older in the U.S. and U.K., and it examined the attitudes and behaviors related to retail payments, banking and investments services.

When asked to indicate the importance of 18 different online banking features, both U.S. and U.K. consumers ranked security the No. 1 feature, followed by single sign-on as their No. 2 feature for online banking. They also ranked highly the ability to deposit checks online from home and the ability to set up a separate account to save up for a specific goal.

Gartner found that younger online banking consumers value features that enable customization of their online banking experience, while older customers seek tools that let them use current services more effectively or communicate better.

“The survey showed that banks and customers want very different things on a bank’s Web site,” said Ms. Cohen. “Customers want to personalize their experiences, analyze their transaction and payment data, so they can better manage their money, pay bills and transfer funds,” Ms. Cohen said. “Banks want to sell customers more products. Banks that neglect personalization trends now will sacrifice online — and possibly mobile — banking customers later.”