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Silver surfers riding the online banking wave

28 May 2007

Australia’s Baby Boomers are embracing internet banking, with almost half a million ‘silver surfers’ signing up in the last year according to research released today by the Commonwealth Bank.

According to the Bank’s E-Money* survey – an annual index of electronic banking usage in Australia - this is a jump of 26 per cent in the number of over 50’s logging on to internet banking services since last year’s inaugural survey.

Ross McEwan, Acting Head of the Commonwealth Bank’s Retail Bank, said: "For Gen X and Y, online banking is a part of everyday life, but now the Baby Boomers are catching up and taking up online banking at a faster rate than ever before."

"This increase in online banking use goes across the board, with more than 1.3 million customers joining the online banking revolution in the last year alone*. Australia is now one of the world-leaders in terms of online banking use**."

Mr McEwan said the survey found that online banking users were taking greater responsibility for online security generally, and around nine out of ten users felt online banking systems in particular are secure.

"As well as signing up for additional security measures like Two Factor Authentication using Tokens or SMS, users are taking additional steps to safeguard all their online activity and generally becoming more security-savvy."

According to the E-Money survey, primary measures that online bankers are taking to protect themselves are:

  • Logging out correctly at the end of each session (93 per cent);
  • Ignoring emails asking for personal information (92 per cent);
  • Regularly updating and protecting passwords (55 per cent);
  • Setting daily withdrawal limits to suit their needs (47 per cent).

Mr McEwan said the survey found that 58 per cent of Australians rated internet banking as one of the consumer technology advances that has made the biggest improvement to their lives in the last ten years – second only to the mobile phone (66 per cent), and ahead of music technology like the iPod (35 per cent).

The E-Money survey found that internet banking remains the preferred way for many Australians to manage day to day banking needs, and that the average user logs on around twice a week to manage their finances.

Users are also making the most of the range of services available, to transfer funds or pay bills, including:

  • Paying for travel or holidays (60 percent), entertainment (58 percent);
  • Transferring money to family and friends (57 percent);
  • Paying credit card bills (66 percent);
  • Arranging international money transfers (24 percent).

NetBank is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its launch in Australia. It was the first online banking service offered by a major Australian Bank and is now Australia’s most popular online bank with over 3 million registered users.


The Commonwealth Bank is Australia’s most convenient bank with a service network that enables customers to access their money whenever they want, wherever they are. Its services include over 40 per cent more ATM outlets than its nearest competitor, access to online banking via NetBank, a range of personal banking services at Australia Post agencies and a 24 hours a day, seven days a week telephone banking service.

Since its launch in 1997, NetBank has grown to meet the changing needs of its customers to become Australia’s most popular online banking choice with more than 3 million registered customers.

For further information:

Bryan Fitzgerald
General Manager, Media
T: (02) 9378 2663
M: 0414 789 649