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Online Banking Stats, Loyalty and Switching

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A study of online banking by comScore Networks not only shows the growth of online banking but also the growth of customers having multiple online savings accounts. According to the study 4.3% of consumers accessed multiple online high-yield savings accounts in September 2005. This is up from 2.2% in January 2005. 40% of EmigrantDirect customers also have accessed other online savings accounts. Probably a lot of these people are ING Direct customers. In fact, the study does show that ING Direct's share of the market declined 5.5% while EmigrantDirect's share grew 100% and Capital One grew 60%.

How Loyal Are You?

It's easy to understand why customers aren't loyal. Many times this year EmigrantDirect has been offering a savings rate 0.60% higher than that of ING Direct. When it's so easy to open up an online account, it's hard to justify sticking with the low rate bank. If ING Direct were able to keep its rates close, it would likely prevent some customers from switching. I think many people would be willing to accept a couple tenths of a percent less in rate if they get a better website and more deposit product choices.

Making It Harder To Switch

Hopefully, ING Direct and other banks will focus on better rates and not making it more difficult to switch. ING Direct, EmigrantDirect, VirtualBank and others require external linked accounts to be checking accounts and not savings accounts (although you can get around this at ING). It has also been reported that ING has blocked HSBC Online Savings account owners from linking to their ING savings accounts. There's no reason to block links to other savings accounts. The only reason that I can see is to inhibit customers from switching.
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