"Online banking is clearly an important business sector in France, with one of the highest adoption rates in Europe," said Herve Le Jouan, Managing Director, comScore Europe. "In today’s current global economic climate, consumers will undoubtedly be seeking greater accessibility and control over their personal finances – a service which is provided by the immediacy of Internet banking. But with competition in the online banking sector in France already fierce, marketers need to understand the online behaviours of these consumers to ensure that they meet their needs online, and ultimately capitalise upon the growing popularity of the sector."
Credit Agricole Leads French Online Banking Category
Of the 32.2 million French Internet users in August 2008, 14.8 million visited at least one online banking site, up 28 percent versus last year. Credit Agricole led the category with 6.9 million visitors, followed by Societe Generale with 4 million visitors and Caisse d'Epargne with 3 million visitors. Among those banks in the top 10, ING Group experienced the greatest increase in visitation during the past year, growing 209 percent to 757,000 visitors.
25-34 Year Olds are Heaviest Online Bankers
An examination of the demographics of online banking users reveals that the 25-34 year old segment has the broadest usage of online banking services while 15-24 year old consumers have the lowest. Since most 15-24 year olds are either in full time education or first time employment, they may be less inclined to manage their finances online or have limited financial assets to manage. Meanwhile, heavy access among 25-34 year olds likely reflects their increasing financial responsibilities and their familiarity with managing accounts online. With many from this age segment confronting new financial challenges, such as buying their first home or expecting a child, they represent an especially important segment for marketers to target.
Interestingly, consumers in the 35 – 44 year age segment and those 55 years and older visited online banking sites most frequently, with the 55+ group viewing the most pages per visitor in the month.