The State of Online Banking 2005

  • February 10, 2005
  • By Susannah Fox

Fifty-three million people, or 44 percent of Internet users and one-quarter of all adults, now say they use online banking. Those figures amount to an increase of 47 percent over the number of Americans who were performing online banking in late 2002. Of all the major Internet activities tracked by the Project since its inaugural survey in March 2000, online banking has grown the fastest. Internet users with high-speed connections, those with six or more years of experience, and those between 28-39 years old are the most likely to bank online.

Highlights from the Pew Internet Project Data Memo:

  • Broadband and online experience. The spread of online banking has coincided with the spread of high-speed broadband connections and the increasing maturation of the Internet population. Fully 63 percent of those with broadband at home have tried online banking, compared with 32 percent of those with dial-up connections. And 51 percent of those who have more than six years of Internet experience have tried banking online, compared to 27 percent of those with three years or less of online experience.
  • The rise of GenX. Those with Internet connections between the ages of 28 and 39 to have tried online banking. Some 60 percent have done so, compared to 38 percent of wired GenY members (those 18-27) and 25 percent of those with Internet connections over the age of 60.
  • Men. In the past two years, online men are notably more likely to perform online banking activities than online women. Half of men with Internet connections (49 percent) have tried online banking, compared to 39 percent of online women. This is a change from the situation two years ago when Internet-connected men and women were equally as likely to be banking online.
  • Higher socio-economic status. Online banking, like many other Internet activities, is most likely to be performed by those living in well-off households (households with more than $75,000 in income), those who have college and graduate degrees, and those who live in suburbs. It is important to note, though, that there has been an across-the-board increase in online banking that has brought more of those who are working class, those who don't have college degrees, and those in rural areas into the online banking population.