Internet banking too difficult

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Internet banking too difficult

Pew Internet and American Life Project survey paints grim picture.

Online banking adoption in the US did not grow last year anywhere near the rate it did in the previous two years, according to the latest Pew Internet and American Life Project survey.

While trust is certainly an issue, affected by numerous reports on phishing and identity theft, supporting research released this week by consumer benchmarking organisation, the Change Sciences Group, suggests that the trouble with online banking is more fundamental. Online banking is simply too hard to use for first time users.

Out of an analysis of over 20 leading banks in the US, Change Sciences found that a typical first time internet banking user would encounter a website with no clear starting point, arcane terminology like 'payee', clunky transaction searching, lack of messages to help the user feel secure and a lack of information that will help users take steps to ensure their security.

"Let's say you've heard from a friend that you can save time by paying your bills online and you visit your bank's website to try it yourself. On most bank sites you're about to get confused, frustrated and annoyed," said Steve Ellis, a Change Sciences partner.

Change Sciences believes that the three best sites overall are Wachovia, Bank of America and Marshall & Ilsley, beating other big names such as Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Citibank, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo.
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