Online banking bullish despite recent scares

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Increasing numbers of Americans are turning to online banking, a new study shows. Despite a spate of recent high profile security problems transactions on the internet look certain to grow, said market research firm Ipsos-Insight.

The number of Americans turning to banking on the internet is up 17 percent in 2004 compared to 2002, highlighted the survey of 1,000 American adults.

"Customers weigh up risk," said Sandra Quinn, director of communications at banking body Apacs. "Most realise that banking online is safe and that the convenience of banking at midnight is significant."

The survey showed that the most popular form of online banking is bill payment. Nearly half of Americans all online bankers using the pay bills either through their own banks or directly to the bill recipients.

The news comes just weeks after two security slips left industry watchers wondering whether the sector would continue its growth. Both internet bank Cahoot in the UK and Morgan Stanley revealed website flaws that allowed external users to views other people's account details.

A rise in internet scams has also threatened customer belief in the security of online banking. "It's difficult to say whether increase in fraud and these other factors has yet had an impact," said Quinn. "But even in the UK 14.2 million people are banking online now as opposed to 7.9 million two years ago.

www.apacs.org.uk

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