Digital banking winners share key metrics

No sooner have we digested the stragglers to report their Q413 and full year results for fiscal 2013, along come the first of the banks to post their results for Q114. One set of business metrics jumps out from the investor presentation released by JPMorgan Chase accompanying its first quarter earnings: its digital banking stats, writes Douglas Blakey

No sooner have we digested the stragglers to report their Q413 and full year results for fiscal 2013, along come the first of the banks to post their results for Q114. One set of business metrics jumps out from the investor presentation released by JPMorgan Chase accompanying its first quarter earnings: its digital banking stats, writes Douglas Blakey

Chase has long been among the more user-friendly banks when it comes to attempting to make sense of its figures. Its Q114 results are no exception.

For example, in Q114 active online banking customers at Chase grew by 9% to 35m from 32.2m in the year-ago period.

In the same period, Chase’s active mobile banking customer numbers soared by 24% to 16.4m.

Other digital stats set out in the Chase investor presentation include metrics such as the percentage of card and auto customers acquired online (a healthy 51% albeit down from 59% a year ago).

Chase is not alone in releasing its digital banking stats: Wells Fargo boasted a 26% year-on-year rise in active m-banking customer numbers to 15.6m.

Bank of America is also top notch in its reporting transparency – it ended 2013 with 14.4m m-banking customers and will no doubt provide an updated figure when it reports its Q114 earnings.

Such disclosure is not the preserve of the best of breed digital banks in the US.

If ever a bank deserved a prize for openness and journalist-friendly bank metrics reporting: step forward Westpac.

If only every bank used Westpac’s reporting template: it reports that 10% of all deposit accounts are opened digitally; digital credit sales exceed branch sales by 47% to 45%; it ended 2013 with 41% of its retail customers as active digital users.

One interesting stat from Westpac; in Q114 by a margin of 51% to 49%, m-banking log-ins exceeded online log-ins.

I stand to be corrected, but this is the first time I have noted a mainstream major retail bank report that mobile banking log-ins exceed internet banking log-ins.

Westpac is not alone in sharing news of its digital success: similar compliments are merited by its rivals ANZ, CBA and NAB.

At the other end of the transparency scale: we are spoiled for choice.

One example will suffice: perhaps one of these days, Citi’s quarterly reports will include details of its key digital banking stats.