ID-theft risks don't deter online bankers

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Identity theft may be a grinding worry, but it doesn't prevent consumers from doing their banking online, a study commissioned by Yahoo and OgilvyOne Worldwide found.

Some 64% of respondents check their bank balances online, and 56% monitor their investment portfolios via the Internet. Consumers of all ages, however, are more concerned with online fraud than they were "a few years ago," according to the study. Yet, the convenience of transacting online wins out with seven out of 10 consumers under 40 banking online and six out 10 over 40 doing so.

One reason that the Internet has ascended to the leading banking channel is that it "has given people more of a sense of empowerment over their money," said Richard Kosinski, category development officer for business and finance, Yahoo. But as consumers feel more in control of their money, one-third also feel empowered to change banks online-a process that is much easier to do online than offline. The message for marketers? "You need to make marketing investments so customers have brand loyalty," Mr. Kosinski said.

The study surveyed 2,700 consumers. Online market-research firm Forrester Research polled consumers online, and consultancy Flamingo International provided in-person interviews with a select few.

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