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Online Banking Survey Results, Part 1 of 3

The following comments and opinions are a portion of the many received in response to the following request:

I'm interested in your thoughts, feelings and experiences relating to online banking, brokerage, retirement and related financial information. I'd like to know, for example, do you bank online? If so, do you limit it to viewing your accounts or do you pay bills online? Overall, has it been a positive experience or something less than that?

If you're not participating in online banking or other online financial endeavors, any particular reason why you're not? For example, are you concerned about security issues? If so, what in particular causes you concern?

Have you used the Web to research an investment, or for retirement planning, to compare rates of return, or for such things as exploring health insurance options or long-term care?

The overwhelming majority of respondents (approximately 99 percent) utilize online banking in some manner. Here are some of the pros and cons expressed:

I check our retirement accounts to see how things are going and if we need to make changes, but we do not do any of the transactions online. For those, we like to talk one-to-one with a voice and fortunately we are able to do this without going through tons of numbers to push if you want to talk to a person and find this works out well for us.

I make purchases online when I am sure (as reasonably sure as one can be) that it is a safe site.

No bill paying is done as we prefer to debit our usual monthly utilities.

We use Quicken, but not online.

I pay some bills online but not automatically.

I check my bank and credit card accounts frequently.

I am poor enough that when I need to juggle money, I elect to do it myself rather than have the payments made automatically.

I keep receiving paper statements which I will not stop. I have had computer problems in the past and I don't want to miss anything.

I use it to pay local bills from my bank. Sometimes I use it to pay long distance credit card bill, but not too often.

I'm a little skittish about sending all the info out into the world because I've been getting more and more phone calls from people who want to sell me services to keep my information 'safe.'

Yes, my hubby and I do all of our banking online as well as pay bills and manage good ol' American Express. Hooray for the Internet!

You asked for our opinions on on-line banking etc. Mine are simple. Nada. I don't even have any credit cards, and keep only about $100 in my no-fee checking account. I pay the few bills I have with money orders. Do I sound paranoid? To an extent, I probably am, but "identity theft" really concerns me, so the most anyone could "get" from me is around $100 from my checking account.

I do everything on the computer except actually pay bills online, mainly because I haven't taken the time to set it up. I print all my checks with the computer, pull up my accounts from the bank, check my stock portfolio, have my budget on a spreadsheet. 98% of my shopping is on the computer.

I use IE for checking my bank account, paying bills online, researching. My only complaint is with companies who donít seem to understand the online bill paying process and donít credit my payment. There area a few companies that have caused me to just give up and send them their payments the old fashioned way. Also, my bank, Wells Fargo, can be difficult at times about letting me see my credit card statements online and about answering questions. Despite that, I will never go back to the days of snail mailing all my payments.

I do as much as I can online. Have not had any fraud issues, however, I get impatient with the need for passwords and ID's when you are just asking for general information. I also donít like being referred to a Web site and then spending 15 minutes trying to find the specific page you need to get to for the info you want.

I've done medical insurance research online and found it quite helpful. When I turned 65, I did the same thing and found that for me, Blue Cross/Blue Shield was about the best deal. I did buy from a local agent though as I wanted to touch and feel somebody.

I have no problem looking at my bank statement online, or even downloading the information into my "Money" account.

I am thinking of doing online bill pay which my bank in Illinois recently offered for free. My husband worries about somebody stealing the information from online transactions and wiping us out, but I actually haven't heard of anyone losing their bank account because they paid bills online.

I do not buy or sell stock online. We like our broker and prefer to work with him.

I do think it is more time consuming to pay bills online than it is to just "write the check" and put it in the mail but I think I will try online banking one of these days, just because Iím curious.

My concern is if something would happen to me, my husband would not have a clue how to do it online and that would be a problem.

I have done online banking for about 2 years now, manage our account, make transfers from one account to another and balance the statement at the end of the month, all online. I find it convenient and feel I have a better handle on our account as I can check it everyday. The same with the Visa card which I can keep close tabs on the account in case surprise charges should occur.

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