Interest is in online personal finance management tools is relatively high but usage is low and consumers appear to be far more likely to use such tools when they are part of a transactional credit union or bank website, according to a new report from Fiserv Inc.
Fiserv said it used a third-party research firm to conduct the survey of 3,000 online banking households across the United States this past winter. The entire pool were randomly selected online households who were then screened to survey only those who said they had used online banking in the past 60 days to check balances, transfer funds or pay bills, the company said.
Nearly 40% of the respondents said they thought PFM budgeting and other management tools would be useful to managing their own finances but only 15% said they had used such a service in the past 90 days, Fiserv said last week.
Sixty-eight percent of those who had used PFM services said they did so through online banking sites. And only 5% said they had used PFM services to track multiple accounts, typically through third-party aggregation.
The survey found that 48% of PFM users who also used account aggregation had had problems accessing some information, and that 44% of the same group "would not have been comfortable if they had known that their IDs and passwords were stored by a third party." That number rose to 87% among the larger group that did not use account aggregation like that.
"Banks and credit unions have a unique and immediate opportunity to grow the market and increase utilization of their sites by delivering on consumer demand for personal financial management tools," said Geoff Knapp, vice president, online banking and consumer insights, at Fiserv in Brookfield, Wis.
"To maximize adoption, banks should promote clear advantages over other PFM service offerings, providing the ability to transact and highlighting bank site security," Knapp said.