Compuware has released a one-month audit of the performance of Australia's major banking websites, which clearly reveals the order of magnitude by which hosting an application outside of Australia degrades the user experience for local customers.
The response times, availability and consistency (standard deviation of response times) of the home pages of 14 banks were measured from a controlled high-speed environment every half an hour from 7 May 2010 to 7 June 2010 using Compuware's Gomez software.
Westpac's online site excelled across all variables measured, with an average response time of 0.16 seconds, standard deviation of 0.10 seconds, and 100 percent availability over the month.
Adelaide Bank was a consistent second, with an average response time of 0.73 seconds, standard deviation of 0.16 seconds, and 100 percent availability over the month .
St George Bank also performed well.
The worst performance on response times was RaboPlus, owned by RaboBank, whose data centres are located in Europe. Compuware recorded an average response time of over 16.5 seconds at the Dutch-owned bank, 100 times slower than Westpac, with below average availability and variable consistency of some 2.45 seconds.
"The international banks performance was less than Australian banks as their data centres are located outside of Australia," said Rafi Katanasho, director of Compuware for Australia, New Zealand and Japan. "You can't beat the speed of light."
Of the major banks, NAB would be concerned about response times of over two seconds during the month (ninth on the list).
The Commonwealth Bank would be concerned about wildly inconsistent response times (2.85 second standard deviation) and a below average availability (99.74 percent).
ANZ found itself the second worst in terms of availability (99.48 percent) - which equates to over three and a half hours of downtime over the month.
Compuware plans to release the data every month, but to expand its analysis to log-in and transaction pages rather than the home pages of the banks. Next month, the company will also release figures for Australia's online retailers.
Compuware offers organisations benchmarking as to what components of a given service are having an adverse impact on performance.
St George Bank
Bank of Queensland
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