ComScore’s State of Online Banking report found that the number of online banking customers continued to grow strongly in 2008 despite the turbulent financial environment.
The growth was fueled by banks’ aggressive customer acquisition strategies and heightened financial interest among online banking customers wanting to keep a closer eye on their personal finances, according to the report.
After several years of particularly strong growth in the use of online banking at the top 10 banks, the second half of 2007 showed the first signs of softness as sequential quarterly growth rates fell below 1%, but then recovered somewhat in 2008 as banks became more aggressive in their online banking customer acquisition efforts.
Online banking customers were also asked about their interest in various online tools to help manage their finances. More than 60% expressed interest in free identity theft services, while free credit score monitoring appealed to 52%.
Approximately 37% of respondents showed a strong interest in online personal financial management tools, with half of those interested indicating they were willing to pay a modest monthly fee for the services.
The report was based on passively-observed online behavioral data from the comScore Online Bank Benchmarker and a 2009 survey of nearly 5,000 US online banking customers.