Customers prefer hands on internet banking: survey

8 June 2006

More Australians prefer to take a ‘hands on’ approach to day-to-day banking and have elected the internet as their most preferred banking channel, according to a survey by the Commonwealth Bank.

The Commonwealth Bank’s inaugural E-Money survey - an annual index of electronic banking usage in Australia - revealed that of the 6.8 million Australians that have used online banking, 85 per cent prefer the internet to manage their day-to-day banking needs.

Michael Cameron, Commonwealth Bank Group Executive - Retail Banking Services, said "The convenience of online banking is helping people gain greater control of their finances and contributing to changing patterns in cash withdrawal and day to day money management."

The survey found:

  • Convenience is the main benefit of online banking for half of all online users (50%); followed by
  • Time savings (29%);
  • Ease of use over traditional banking methods (10%);
  • Customers aged 25-34 year olds and full-time workers were the most likely to use internet banking, while those over 50 years of age preferred using branches.

The survey has highlighted the differences in the way generations manage their money.

"Traditionally, our parents would have banked in branch and allocated themselves a budget which they would withdraw monthly or fortnightly. However, today's younger generation prefer the convenience of online banking and withdraw cash as needed," said Mr Cameron.

Mr Cameron said attitudes toward internet security varied between users and non-users.

"Almost all internet banking customers believe the online system is secure, however, among those yet to try internet banking, only 32 per cent are convinced about internet security."

The most popular online transaction is funds transfer/bill payment:

  • 57 per cent are conducted using internet banking;
  • 21 per cent undertake this type of transaction via the telephone; and
  • 16 per cent in-branch.

The survey also found that despite the popularity of cashless transacting:

Cash remains in favour for:

  • small grocery transactions (61% of purchases); and
  • entertainment (58%);

EFTPOS is popular for:

  • large grocery transactions (42%); and

Credit cards are popular for:

  • purchasing big ticket items such as travel (59%); and
  • electronics and white goods (50%).

Other Survey Results include:

  • Electronic services are the most popular way to withdraw cash, with 85% of those surveyed using ATM or EFTPOS.
  • Four in ten Australians withdraw money from their bank account on an as-needs basis whereas six in ten plan ahead and withdraw funds on a weekly basis or less often.
  • That of all ATM users, half will typically seek out their own bank’s ATM when withdrawing cash in order to avoid other bank ATM fees.

People today want to be able to do their banking when it suits them, and the internet, phone and ATMs means banking is available 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

"Ultimately, the survey reveals that electronic banking is maturing and well established. The Commonwealth Bank’s strategy will be to continue to provide a range of services and banking options so that customers can choose to bank in a way which suits them," said Mr Cameron.


For media enquiry contact:

Bryan Fitzgerald
General Manager, Media and Issues Management
Commonwealth Bank
Phone: (02) 9378 2663
Mob: 0414 789 649