According to comScore, since 2006 the number of customers visiting the top 10 online banking sites increased from 40 million to more than 58 million people. comScore also reports that in any given quarter, nearly 60 percent of the total U.S. Internet population visits the website of at least one of the top 20 financial institutions.
And the popularity of online banking continues to grow. comScore's 2010 State of Online Banking Report found that 64 percent of Americans now pay bills online, up 19 percentage points over 2009.
For those customers entrusting the management of their finances to the Web, and for the banks that want to maintain these customer relationships, performance is paramount.
Remember last fall when TD Bank experienced complications integrating the computer systems and websites of the old TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank? A glitch in the system prevented deposits and withdrawals from being posted to customers' accounts. Customers couldn't see their current balances and began to fear their bank was going out of business.
The slightest abnormality or delay in a bank's website performance could put consumers on edge. Availability and quick response times are a must for instilling confidence and creating happy customers.
So how did the websites of some of the industry's top financial institutions measure up last quarter? AlertSite's Q2 Web Performance Index for Financial Services shows they performed particularly well. Seven of the sites being monitored delivered consistent or improved availability over the first quarter, and nine improved response times. (SunTrust Bank improved response time by over 56 percent!)
Two sites -- Fifth Third Bank and BB&T Corp. -- experienced no outages and were available 100 percent of the second quarter. Five banks gave their customers near-instant access to their sites, delivering response times under two seconds.
The graphs below reveal the average response times, availability, and quarterly improvement each site experienced in Q2.