COLUMBUS, Ohio – While young, affluent, and highly educated people are more apt to try new technology, they tend to use online banking because these are the target groups most financial institutions market to. This, according to a new study from Ohio State University that examined the role that age, income, and education factors play in whether people will use online banking. Researchers surveyed 900 telephone respondents who have accounts at a credit union, bank or thrift institution. The researchers found that almost everyone had access to ATM machines, and two-thirds used the technology. But while two-thirds of respondents had access to online banking, less than one-quarter used it. “Banks are driving the demographics of their customers with their own targeted marketing campaigns,” said Jinkook Lee, professor of consumer and textile sciences at Ohio State University, and lead author of the study. “We found that once people were introduced to a banking service, what really mattered was their personal attitude about the technology, regardless of their age, income, or education.” People who believed that banking technology was useful, reliable, secure, and easy to use were more likely to try it, regardless of background, Lee said. The study was commissioned by the Federal Reserve Board and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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