Banking, Shopping Up Among Canadian Women

More than half of Canadian female Internet users bank online, according to a study by DoubleClick and J.C Williams, which found that most Canadian women indicate a preference for online banking compared to branch banking when it comes to basic financial transactions.

The findings come from the Women and Finance report, the second wave of the Canadian Women Online Study.

The study found that although only 7 percent of women have used the Internet to conduct investment transactions, more than 25 percent indicated they use the Internet to research investment options before making a decision. This was even more pronounced for women under the age of 35 who were more likely to use the Internet to research and make investment transactions.

Channel Preference of Canadian Women
Task Internet
Account queries/updates 39% 13%
Obtaining rate information 32% 27%
Transferring funds 34% 20%
Pay bills 37% 15%
Product/services info. 28% 38%
Credit card application 14% 40%
Loan or mortgage application 8% 61%
Investment advice 8% 56%
Source: DoubleClick Canada

“The investment community has embraced the Internet as an informational and communication tool,” said Wendy Miller, General Manager of DoubleClick Canada. “Their next challenge is to develop programs and tools that make using the Internet for investment transactions more attractive to all age groups — not just early adopters.”

The research revealed that 55 percent of Canadian female Internet users bank online. Of those who bank online, 76 percent say it saves the hassle of going to the bank; 72 percent say it saves time; 68 percent say it is more convenient than other banking methods; 66 percent prefer to bank at non-traditional hours; and 25 percent say it saves money and eliminates service fees.

Other findings show a continued concern about protecting personal information implying that security should continue to be a major communication goal for all financial institutions. It also appears that Canadian financial institutions have a significant consumer education job ahead of them; almost one-third of Canadian women don’t even know how to get started with online banking.

Online shopping has grown by 7 percent among Canadian women from 46 percent of female Internet users making an online purchase in July 2000, to 49 percent in October. Certain categories experienced the most dramatic increases including books (up 6 percent to 55 percent of buyers); gifts (up 6 percent to 31 percent of buyers); and women’s clothing (up 8 percent to 27 percent of buyers).

“In three months we have seen a significant increase in the percentage of women who have made a purchase on the Internet,” Miller said. “And key female categories are gaining momentum including women’s apparel and health and beauty.”

The study was conducted by J.C. Williams Group for DoubleClick Canada and is considered representative of the Canadian female Internet user population. The national sample consisted of 2,121 Internet users in July and 2,077 Internet users in October.

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