Essential guide online marketing finance

Introduction to Financial Services Online

Trafficking Money
Australia is one of the most 'wired' countries in the world, with approximately 53%^ of the population using the Internet every month. As one of the first industries to recognise the value of the Internet for optimising customer profitability, financial services is one of the high-interest, frequently visited areas online. Growing online even faster than the uptake of the Internet itself, over 5 million people currently visit finance-related websites each month.^ To put it into perspective, 7 out of 10 people who use the Internet on a monthly basis, seek information that is finance related.

Banking on Profit
Since the first days of Internet banking, Financial Service providers have focused on customer profitability  management, seeking to replace existing communication processes and high-cost service channels with lower-cost, web-based channels. Despite appearances to the contrary, the financial services category
has evolved from focusing on banking customers to attracting new customers and promoting new services. Looking back two years ago, the online category (then attracting 2.2 million users monthly) was dominated by the top 6 banks, financial information sites and a few independent trading sites.

In 2002, usage of Financial sites among Australians has more than doubled, an array of regional banks, credit unions and building societies have a respectable online patronage and an audience has been built behind providers of non-banking services such as insurance, credit cards, mortgages and cash trusts to name a few. Conversely, the number of independent (non-bank) trading sites has declined.
Financial services is a broad area. In presenting the survey finings, we have touched upon the services most interesting in terms of consumer usage and their propensity to change this behaviour in the future. Not all financial services which were covered in the survey9 are presented in this brief synopsis of the key results. The focus is on those learnings that can be leveraged by financial services providers today, to best meet the needs of customers, both now and in the immediate future.

Survey Methodology
The research was conducted as an opt-in survey across the f2 Network in July 2001. Over 5000 people  participated, from a demographically representative sample of Australian Internet users. Note that as the research was conducted on the f2 Network sites, the results represent the opinions of people who are f2 users and are therefore not presented as being representative of all Australians.

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