An Exploratory Study of Length and Frequency of Internet Banking Usage

Article excerpt


The advent of Internet has provided banks an opportunity to reduce costs, increase customer base, and mass customize by delivering their products and services through this medium. A flurry of studies on Internet banking (IB) has since emerged. The majority of these studies, however, have been directed to either IB adoption or IB service quality delivery. With few exceptions, the impact that customer satisfaction with e-banking service qualities has on IB usage remains unexplored. This study examines a sample of Australian IB users based on their frequency and length of usage. The results show that as customers become more acclimatized to IB, they use these services more often. Further, daily and frequent IB users are more pleased with "ease of use" and "aesthetics" and tend to use IB more for electronic fund transfer and foreign exchange transactions than the less frequent users. The findings suggest that banks need to develop more customized services since there are distinct market segments with different banking requirements.

Key words: Internet banking, e-business, online banking.

1 Introduction

Although the debacle has held back electronic commerce in general, financial institutions continue to press hard to move offline users online [3]. This is no surprise since nearly three times as many online households in the United States cite financial transactions as one of the most important reasons for using the Internet than those who mention purchasing products [17]. Another reason is that by using the Internet as a communication and delivery medium, banks can integrate their services to reach far more clients without the limitations of physically located delivery systems, like branches or ATMs, making it easier to cross-sell products as well as achieving scale economies. In turn, this has enabled many banks to offer competitive rates in bill payment, brokerage services, and stock market transactions [12]. Claessens et al. [9], for instance, estimated banks could lower their transaction costs from about US$1.00 for a branch transaction to US$0.20 for an Internet transaction. De Young [12] reports a broader difference still: US$1.07 per transaction in a branch compared with US$0.01 on the Internet.

Notwithstanding the "push" efforts made by banks, less than 56% of Internet users in the United States conduct online banking compared with more than 63% who carry out online purchasing [17]. The need to understand the behavioral underpinnings of internet banking (IB) adoption has resulted in attempts being made to apply some of the seminal technology adoption theories, such as (TPB) Theory of Planned Behaviour [1], (TRA) Theory of Reasoned Action [13], (TAM) Technology Acceptance Model [11]; (TAM2) [29], Social Cognitive Theory [2], and Theory of Diffusion of Innovations [27], to examine the determinants of IB adoption among consumers in different cultures (see for example [4], [6], [15], [28]).

Apart from IB adoption, research on IB has been directed toward IB service quality delivery. Some of these works include Jun and Cai [18], Joseph et al.[19], Joseph and Stone [20], and Patricio et al.[25]. With few exceptions (such as [7], [14], [26]), little is known about the impact customer satisfaction with e-banking service quality has on IB usage. This study aims to empirically assess the effects, including the manner in which, as well as the extent to which, satisfaction toward different e-banking service quality dimensions have on IB usage, both in terms of length of adoption as well as frequency of use. Specifically, this study will explore five key issues relating to IB usage:

1. Is there any correlation between length and frequency of IB use?

2. Does satisfaction with any particular e-banking service quality dimensions lead to higher IB usage?

3. Does length of IB usage necessarily imply a higher level of satisfaction with any particular e-banking service quality dimensions? …