Online banking hits new high

Australia may have reached an all-time high when it comes to banking online, but a lot of it is being done while users are at work, according to new figures released by Jupiter Media Metrix.

The statistics revealed that 56 per cent of the home/work Internet population have clicked through to business and finance sites, racking up a new high of 4 million unique visitors in the last three months.

Employers, however, won't be happy to discover that around a million of these visits were made during work hours. According to David Stewart-Hunter, senior analyst at Jupiter Media Metrix, this is largely due to employees wanting to trade shares while the market is open, and the high-speed connections available to people in the workplace.

Although the Commonwealth Bank has retained its traditional place at the head of the pack in terms of site popularity, the gap is closing, with Westpac and ANZ hot on CBA's heels. CBA finished the month of July with 1.2 million visitors, a mere 100,000 ahead of both Westpac and ANZ.

Meanwhile, the National Australia Bank improved on its previous month's effort, clocking up around 700,000 hits. In addition, the site claimed the title of 'stickiest', with visitors spending around an hour a month on the site.

St George did little to impress, and did not significantly increase its relatively low share of surfers. In contrast, however, was ING Direct, which started with a mere 181,000 visitors in May and ramped up to 272,000 in July.

Older men seem to be spearheading the increase in online banking, with CommSec being dominated by this demographic. On the flipside, NAB and ANZ had a high number of older female visitors to their sites. St George received much of its traffic from the youth market, while Westpac appealed mostly to males.

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More about ANZ Banking GroupCommonwealth Bank of AustraliaCommonwealth Bank of AustraliaCommSecING AustraliaJupiterMedia MetrixNABNational Australia BankWestpacWestpac

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