As credit unions continue to embrace the emerging technology of
online banking, the question that now comes to the forefront of
this hot topic is ''Who is the Internet home banking member?''
Demographic studies that profile online banking users have found
that although there is a direct correlation between members who
use Internet banking and those who have a greater net worth, higher
balance, and more credit union products, this is not the determining
factor in finding a target market who will utilize this technology
According to Paul Murphy, an Internet banking and Bill pay consultant,
the key to finding members that will embrace Internet home banking
is asking one simple question, ''How comfortable are your members
with computers, the Internet, and completing transactions online?''
Using computer usage as a guide, Mr. Murphy extrapolates that Internet
banking members can be divided into four groups: Proficient, Receptive,
Tolerant, and Adverse.
With each group, there is a different way to broach the subject
of online banking. For example, if a member indicates in their response
that they are not regular Internet users and only use it to surf
the web or do email, he or she is classified as ''tolerant''.
A good way to proceed at this point would be to indicate that your
credit union offers Internet banking and when they are ready to
try it, you will be ready to help them get started.
Mr. Murphy identifies questions and responses for each type
of online banking member and his article in the 2003
Credit Union Technology Survey contains a guide that will
help credit union executives communicate with their members about
this new service. Mr. Murphy's article ''Will the Real Internet
Banking Member Please Stand Up'' is a must read for credit unions
looking to expand into the realm of Internet home banking.