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Gomez Study Reveals Few Canadian Customers Using Full Service Internet Banking.

Business/Technology Editors

TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 20, 2000

Study Reveals Low Usage Levels for Online Transactions; Identifies

Key Near-Term Market Opportunity for Canadian Banks

Canadian banks are failing to meet the needs of their online banking customers, according to a major study conducted by Gomez, the Internet quality measurement firm. The State of Online Banking study, the first of its kind in Canada, examines the online banking trends and market dynamics of almost 9,000 online adult users across Canada. The study also identified distinct groups of banking customers and revealed that banks have an immediate near-term market opportunity among customers who plan to begin banking online within the next six months.

Banks are achieving an extremely low penetration rate for online transactions, the study revealed. Only one percent of respondents reported having obtained mortgages online, 2.4 percent of respondents reported they had applied for a loan online, and only 2.1 percent said they had purchased a GIC (Guaranteed Investment Contract) online.

"The study shows that a surprising number of institutions still require physical-world activities to fulfill certain basic requirements that could be more efficiently handled over the Internet," said Don Rolfe, managing director for GomezCanada. "Banks will need to offer innovative features, increased breadth of products, pricing advantages, and higher customer service levels, in order to give their customers a compelling reason to move their banking relationships online."

A majority of those surveyed - 54.9 percent - used the Internet to view account balances, while 44 percent had paid bills online and 38.5 percent has used the Internet to transfer funds. Fifteen percent said they had applied online for a credit card, and seven percent had used those cards for online purchases.

The State of Online Banking was conducted entirely online by GomezCanada, examining the attitudes and usage patterns of Canadian consumers in the areas of wireless banking, person-to-person payment systems, scanned bill presentment and account aggregation services being sponsored by their bank and integrated with their current Web offerings.

The report further identifies three waves of future Active Web Bankers: Banking Shopper, Innovation Seeker and the Latent Adopter. Gomez identifies the Banking Shopper as the greatest near term market opportunity for banks in the first wave. Members of this group intend to begin banking on line within the next six months, with many currently revealing that they are shopping for an Internet Bank.

"Banks are now facing an environment where success depends on identifying and serving the actual needs and behaviours of the customer," Mr. Rolfe continued. "The key is to develop products and services that can be tailored to the intentions of both current and prospective customers who are either banking traditionally or are interested in banking online, and would like to make the transition to full service Internet banking."

About Gomez

Gomez is the Internet quality measurement firm, providing e-commerce customer experience measurement, benchmarking, and customer acquisition services to help firms build successful e-businesses and guide consumers in transacting online. GomezPro provides e-commerce customer experience measurement tools, analysis, and advanced data services to help companies build successful e-businesses. GomezNetworks enables companies to optimize customer experience with real time site performance measurement and diagnostic tools. Gomez.com provides Scorecard rankings and merchant certification of over 6,000 firms in 75 industries, helping consumers transact online with confidence, and through its Performance Media(TM) program, enabling merchants to reach desirable consumers at a guaranteed acquisition cost. For more information, visit www.gomez.com

Gomez, Gomez.com, GomezPro, GomezNetworks, GomezCanada are trademarks of Gomez, Inc. All other products and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 20, 2000
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