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2000 Year in Review
Riding the inflection point
: OBR 67
Y2K was an interesting year. To the surprise of many, the year started without incident. The lights stayed on, the terrorists stayed home, and banks were able to move on to IT initiatives that had a positive impact on the bottom line. In the United States and much of the world, the year proved relatively uneventful in economic terms, unless you happened to work or invest in the dot-com sector. For those riding that bubble, hopes of a quick million or two rest, once again, on winning the lottery.
While the results of year-end research are still being tabulated, early evidence leads us to believe that online banking household penetration grew 60% to 80% during the year, exceeding our baseline forecast of 43% growth and potentially beating our high-end forecast of 60% growth (OBR 59, p. 5). We’ll update our annual forecast in April.
Part of the growth was due to increased demand for all ecommerce activities, but much of it was from across-the-board program improvements. Large banks, community banks, credit unions, and non-banks all made dramatic leaps forward on a number of fronts: Web site design, download speed, security perceptions, copywriting, products and pricing, and customer support.
Next year should be another blockbuster for online banking usage. Interbank transfers, email payments, email bill presentment, email alerts, and other services optimized for the Net are finally giving users a reason to hang up the phone and start interacting online. Enjoy the wave.
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