Journal Article

U.S. consumers and electronic banking, 1995-2003

Abstract: The availability and variety of electronic banking technologies in the marketplace has greatly expanded in recent years. For financial institutions, e-banking technologies can speed processing, reduce costs, and help attract and retain customers. For consumers, they can save time and money and may be more convenient than more traditional ways of banking. This article draws on data from two nationwide surveys to look at consumer use of such products and services as debit cards, pre-authorized debits, and computer banking, particularly as use relates to consumer demographic characteristics and consumer perceptions. ; The data show a consistent increase in the proportion of consumers using a variety of e-banking technologies. Consumer attitudes toward e-banking generally have become more positive over time, with more consumers seeing e-banking as convenient, familiar, easy to use, and secure. The use of some technologies, particularly debit cards, has become more democratized over time, but it is still the case that most e-banking technologies tend to be used by higher income, higher asset, younger, and better educated households. ; E-banking technologies hold the promise of helping families manage their money, pay their bills on time, and avoid overextending themselves with credit. To take full advantage of them, however, consumers need to become aware of the evolving array of e-banking technologies available to them and understand how different technologies fit with their financial management needs. Financial planners and consumer educators, working with both families and financial institutions, can help the promise become a reality.

Keywords: Electronic funds transfers; Internet banking;

JEL Classification: D12; D18; G21; L86;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)

Part of Series: Federal Reserve Bulletin

Publication Date: 2004

Volume: 90

Issue: Win