ACNielsen

ACNielsen

April 05, 2006 10:00 ET

ACNielsen: Three Out of Five Internet Users Take Advantage of Online Financial Services

MARKHAM, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 5, 2006) -

ACNielsen's Internet Planner finds use of online financial services on the rise

ACNielsen Canada today released the eleventh edition of its Internet Planner, an annual survey of Canada's Internet population. Providing a comprehensive analysis of this growing community, the Internet Planner includes data, analysis and commentary highlighting potential trends and opportunities for the future of Internet use by Canadian consumers.

One of the key insights from this year's survey is the continued increase in the number of consumers accessing the Internet to use financial services. 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. Growth in the use of online financial services since 2002 has been fuelled by an increase from both female and male Internet users. In fact, female Internet users have been steadily closing the gap with their male counterparts since 2002. The growth in online financial services use by females over the past four years has outpaced the growth shown by male Internet users (+12 points and +5 points respectively since 2002).



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Use Of Online Financial Services By Internet Users
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Total Female Male
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2002 50% 45% 56%
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2003 54% 52% 57%
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2004 57% 55% 60%
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2005 59% 57% 61%
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Point change since 2002 +9 +12 +5
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"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."

Checking their 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.

In the area of e-commerce consumers say they expect better prices from online retailers than from a bricks-and-mortar store. This expectation of better pricing online has also risen over the past several years:



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How would you expect online prices
at a website to compare to prices
in a store? (%) 2002 2003 2004 2005
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Slightly/significantly cheaper prices 63 65 67 69
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About the same 32 31 30 29
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Slightly/significantly more expensive 5 3 3 2
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Other areas of concern to consumers detailed in the 2006 Internet Planner are security of the Internet and their suggestions on who, if anyone, should be made responsible for managing or supervising access to content on websites; and what should be done about offensive and illegal content.

To the question: "What should ISPs do about offensive or illegal content on the internet?" the top three responses(1) were:



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Offensive Internet Content Illegal Internet Content
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- Adhere to a Code of - Consult with Law Enforcement
Conduct/Ethics (55%) Officials (63%)

- Discontinue subscriptions - Discontinue subscriptions
of offenders (52%) of offenders (56%)

- Remove the material from - Remove the material from
their servers (47%) their servers (50%)
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(1) Base: Internet Users, N equals 10,456. Multiple mentions


To the question: "What should the government do about offensive or illegal content on the internet?" the top three responses(2) were:



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Offensive Illegal
Content Content
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- Work with the internet industry to 63% 66%
develop solutions

- Introduce laws or regulations 57% 69%

- Educate the public 38% 38%
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(2) Base: Internet Users, N equals 10,456. Multiple mentions


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.

About ACNielsen

ACNielsen, a VNU business, is the world's leading marketing information provider. Offering services in more than 100 countries, the unit provides measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics and consumer attitudes and behavior. Clients rely on ACNielsen's market research, proprietary products, analytical tools and professional service to understand competitive performance, to uncover new opportunities and to raise the profitability of their marketing and sales campaigns.

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