According to data released by Statistics New Zealand in April, approximately 2.05 million Kiwis use internet banking, a figure that is up from 1.74 million in 2009. While younger generations are the most likely to transact online, internet banking is actually popular among all age groups, with more than half of the 65 – 74 year age group and more than a third of the 75+ age group doing at least some banking online.
Increasingly, online banking users are also using their mobile phones to transact – whether it is to check their balance at the shops, or to pay a bill remotely. Statistics New Zealand advises that one-quarter of recent internet users access the www via their mobile phone; that percentage jumps to 40% of 25 – 34 year olds.
Banking has made significant progress in just one generation; from having to get to the bank before closing hours, to the introduction of ATMs, through to literally carrying our financial institution in our pocket. Banking is most certainly, nowadays, at our convenience.
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So – who provides great value?
For the second year running, CANSTAR has undertaken an extensive research exercise to determine the level of online banking functionality and ease of use each New Zealand financial institution has to offer. This research takes account of the different expectations that consumers have of website, internet and mobile banking. Where a website is an organization providing information to a consumer, internet banking and mobile apps provide consumers with the mechanism to interact with their banking institution.
Customers typically use traditional internet banking at home or the office using a desktop where they have more time to do more complex transactions. Mobile apps however fulfill immediate information and basic transaction needs when ‘on the go’ and therefore provide a different and more fluid experience to sitting at their desktop.
ASB Bank has ranked as the best provider of online banking in New Zealand for the second year running, and continues to impress with their focus on providing a good user experience across all mediums. Their mobile banking is particularly impressive, with a competitive advantage being their multiple payment options of email, Facebook and pay-to-mobile.
Kiwibank came a close second, also scoring extremely well for both internet and mobile banking.
Technology has fundamentally and permanently changed the way that consumers interact with both their bank and their own finances, with banking now a far more interactive and consumer-dictated activity. It will be fascinating to see what the future brings.