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Silver Surfers Lead the way with Internet Banking
(16 June 2004)

Two thirds of over 50 year olds who use the internet are now managing their finances online, according to a new survey from NatWest online banking, placing silver surfers among the fastest growing internet banking users in Britain. What's more, 64% of over 70 year old internet users are logging on once a week to check the balance on their accounts.

A tenth of respondents log on to check their balance every day and over three quarters check it once a week. On average though, silver surfers check their bank balance eight times a month, pay bills twice a month and review their bank statements six times a month. Unsurprisingly, the majority of activity tends to be once a month when 37% pay bills and nearly a third move money between their accounts.

Four fifths of respondents in the south west are regular users of internet banking, with 21% logging on daily, compared with only 60% of those respondents in Yorkshire, the majority of whom prefer to use the traditional option of visiting a branch to carry out their banking.

Silver surfers prefer the flexibility that internet banking offers them. Three quarters of respondents use internet banking because it allows them to access their account whenever and wherever they want. Convenience, it seems, is the key reason why silver surfers use internet banking, with only 21% citing better interest rates as a motivating factor for logging on.

Not only is this age group increasingly confident when it comes to using the internet to do their banking, but 96% of those online are also regular email users, 89% use it to research information and 68% like to catch up on the news and weather. A massive 57% of respondents book their holidays online and 24% are also checking their shares online!

Britain's over 50s are also making the most of the internet even when they are abroad, with nearly a quarter of respondents saying that they have accessed their bank accounts from overseas, particularly those from London and the east of England.

David Head, Head of NatWest online banking, said: "Silver surfers are clearly embracing internet banking as we have seen a 58% increase in the number of over 50s choosing to manage their finances online in the last year alone.

"Internet banking provides people of all ages with the flexibility to access their account information whenever and wherever they want to - even from the other side of the world!"

Notes to editors

  • This research was carried out by BMRB International between 24th - 26th April 2004.
  • A representative sample of 1,000 internet users over the age of 50 were interviewed.

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