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Survey says: Canadian use of online financial services increases

By CO Staff @canadaone |

Use of online financial services has grown since 2002, primarily fueled by an increase in use by female users who have been closing the gap with their male counterparts since that date (+12 points and +5 points respectively since 2002), according to the eleventh edition of ACNielsen Canada's Internet planner, an annual survey of Canada's Internet population.

More than half (59%) of all Internet users currently access online financial services. This is up two points from 2004, and represents a steady increase since 2002.

Checking account balances was the top reported online service, used by 53% of all Internet users. However, the strongest gains compared to last year's study came in the areas of paying bills (44%) and checking credit card balances (36%), both of which increased four points over 2004.

"We know that increasing numbers of people are using the Internet on a regular basis but the continuing rise in the use of online financial services is an interesting development," said Pam Wood, Marketing Director, Consumer Measurement Services, ACNielsen Canada. "Despite their obvious willingness to embrace the web in many other areas, consumers have appeared somewhat more hesitant about online use in the area of financial services, so the increase seen in this year's Internet Planner suggests that this barrier is steadily decreasing."

The survey also found that an increasing number of consumer expect a deal when buying online, with 69% of online users expecting "slightly/significantly cheaper prices" compared to 63% in 2002. This expectation of better pricing online has also risen over the past several years:

How would you expect online prices at a website to compare to prices in a store? (%) 2002 2003 2004 2005
Slightly/significantly cheaper prices 63 65 67 69
About the same 32 31 30 29
Slightly/significantly more expensive 5 3 3 2

The Internet Planner was based on survey responses from over 10,000 Canadian Internet users age 12 years or older of the ACNielsen Homescan consumer panel.

For more information on The Internet Planner visit AC Neilson

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