Canada is the world’s most developed markets for online banking, with 67.1 of Canadian internet users banking online in April 2008 – significantly more penetration than in other English-speaking countries, according to comScore.
Among the key findings:
- Adoption of online banking in other English-speaking countries was 17-25 percentage points lower: UK (49.5%), US (44.4%), and Australia (41.7%).
- Canadians also led the world in online banking frequency, with an average of 8 usage days and 10.5 online banking visits per visitor in April.
- Canadians spent an average of 46 minutes on banking sites in April, viewing approximately 121 pages per visitor.
“The Canadian online banking sector is so developed and competition already so fierce, banks need to closely examine how they are meeting the needs of their consumers online if they are to achieve customer growth and retention through this increasingly important channel,” said Brent Bernie, president of comScore Media Metrix, comScore Canada.
Top Online-Banking Sites
Of the nearly 24 million Canadian internet users, 15.5 million visited a banking site in April.
RBC Financial group led the category with 4.6 million visitors, followed by TD Bank Financial Group with 4.5 million visitors and Bank of Montreal Sites with 3 million visitors
Among those banks in the top 10, Bank of Montreal Sites experienced the greatest increase in visitation during the past year, growing 22%.
Demographic Profile of Online Bankers
The proportion of consumers using online banking services is generally higher among younger age segments, but the frequency of usage is slightly higher among older age segments:
A generational gap exists among users of online baking: Approximately 74% of those age 25-44 use online banking services compared with 63% among those age 55+.
An age group that often confronts financial challenges, including retirement planning and paying for their kids’ university education, 45-54-year-olds show both high penetration (73%) and the heaviest usage frequency (12 visits and 157 pages per visitor per month).
Reaching Light Users
Light users of online banking accounted for 32.3% of Canada’s online population in April, according to the comScore Segment Metrix H/M/L service, which provides analysis of online activity by heavy, medium and light users of the internet and specific site categories.
Light online bankers represent an opportune target for banks seeking new customers, since they may be more easily enticed to switch brands through incentive offers than heavier users who are more highly engaged in their banks’ sites and, theoretically, more brand-loyal.
Categories of sites that attract a higher-than-normal concentration of light online bankers include car rental sites, which have a composition of 37.4% of light online banking users versus the overall internet composition of 32.3%, followed by personal finance sites (36.6%), and gay/lesbian sites (36.1%).