The number of US households banking online will triple within the next five years, according to a study released by market researcher Dataquest.
About 24.2 million households will be using PC banking applications, up from 7 million at the end of 1998, according to the survey.
"The two groups which will spur the biggest growth for online banking are single-female households and retirees, simply because they are the newest users to aggressively use the Internet," said George Barto, a senior industry analyst at Dataquest.
To expand online banking in the future, the banking industry faces two hurdles. "They need to widen the overall appeal of online banking and overcome consumer unease about control of the online bill-paying process," Barto said.
About 13.7 million households, or 57 per cent of those banking on the Internet, will be paying bills online by 2004, according to the survey.
Dataquest and the National Family Opinion (NFO) sent questionnaires to 20,000 households in December 1998. 16,500 households responded.
The current top activities for online banking are reviewing account balances, transferring funds within an individual institution, paying bills and reviewing credit card bills, according to Dataquest.