Online finance access and website customer satisfaction are both on the rise. But banks could do much more to connect with customers through social networks and mobile devices.

Online Banking Features Can Reach Much Wider Audience


Online banking volumes have more than doubled since 2004 - the first quarter of 2011 saw more than 65 million liquid deposit account (LDA) customers at the top ten banks, which includes users of checking, savings and money market accounts. Banks also have seen a risein customer satisfaction regarding their bank and its website - after a dip in 2010, nearly 70 percent of customers were satisfied with their financial institution’s site. Despite these increases, there is a gap between customer interest in online features and utilization - less than half used some features. But many online financial customers use account activity alerts and bill pay - usage of the latter rose early last year and 66 percent of customers report using the service. Plenty of those who do not use bill pay cite security reasons, but there are still many ways that banks can engage their digital customers that have not been optimized yet, mainly social networks and mobile, as shown in a recent Comscore whitepaper.

Banks are not optimizing social networks engagement

Financial institutions do not have the same presence in social media that businesses do at large, but figures show that banking customers are highly engaged - customer visitation to major social networking sites – LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – rose 31 percent last year, compared to 8 percent growth for the total online population. But the industry is not optimizing growth in this area - only 18 percent of their customers were aware of their banks’ presence there, “suggesting a need for banks to build greater awareness of their use of social networking to maximize the engagement capabilities of the platform.”

Banks need to understand consumers’ mobile needs

As the Internet and mobile devices continue to become an integral part of people's daily lives, digital banking channels promise further adoption and advancement in 2012," said Sarah Lenart, ComScore Vice President for Financial Services.Smartphone adoption and the improvement of mobile banking apps contributed to a spike in mobile banking usage. In the second quarter of 2011, 16 percent of US mobile users accessed financial information this way, and nearly three-quarters of these did so at least once a week. This reflects the potential for continual growth of mobile-accessed banking. "As people turn to online and mobile channels to manage their financial accounts at an ever increasing rate, it becomes more important for financial institutions to understand their customers' unique online needs and provide a secure and user-friendly experience for accessing financial information and conducting financial transactions. 

By Ivory King