Web-Based Financial Services Are On Fire — And Getting Hotter
There’s been a dramatic increase in the percentage of American families using the Internet to access financial services over the past several years, data from the Federal Reserve show.
As recently as 2004, most American families did not use the web for their finances, with just 46.5 percent reporting they accessed financial information or services over the Internet in that year. But that number spiked three years later, to 59.7 percent in 2007 — and then again in the Fed’s most recent Survey of Consumer Finances, to 67.4 percent. That’s two of every three American families now using the web for their finances.
The numbers are even more drastic when broken down by age group. Of all American families headed by a person below age 35, 80 percent use the web for financial information and/or services. The ratio stays high all the way up through families headed by those persons younger than 55, with nearly three in four families using the web for those services. Then, a sharp drop-off: just about 26 percent of families headed by someone age 75 or older use web-based financial services.
With such stark generational differences, it’s easy to see how this trend will likely continue to grow in the very near future. As the Fed puts it: “If the relatively greater expression of such behavior by younger families persists as they age, and if succeeding cohorts follow their example, Internet-based financial services may become even more important in the future.”
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