Slow Page Loads Kill The Online & Mobile Banking Experience

Online and mobile banking users have zero patience for sluggish load times. They won’t even wait a couple seconds before giving up on you.

In the 1990s, banking consumers had to drive down to their institution’s branch during business hours, fill out forms and stand in line to meet with a teller — a time consuming, tedious and often frustrating process. Fast forward to today. Banking is increasingly branchless. Fueled by the ease and omnipresence of digital devices, more and more consumers are accessing online and mobile banking sites with greater frequency and confidence.

Maxymiser, a company specializing in cross-channel optimization, fielded research examining how consumers access online and mobile banking sites.

They found that slow site performance and page speeds can kill the digital banking experience. 68% of respondents reported they will not wait longer than six seconds for pages or images to load on a bank’s website or mobile site.

( Read More: The Future of Online Banking – The Flagship Branch )

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“Of all of the survey questions we posed to consumers in this study, the answer that was most surprising is that 22% of consumers are willing to wait up to three seconds for pages and images to load on a bank’s website or mobile site,” Jared Polidoro, VP/US Client Services at Maxymiser, explained in an interview.

“But what they were telling us doesn’t match their actual behavior,” he continued. “What’s been proven over and over again is that there’s a two-second threshold of acceptability before consumers will get frustrated and click away from a site or page.”

For 58% of respondents, the single most important element of a financial institution’s website or online/mobile banking experience was that it be simple and easy to use. The second most important factor was fast loading of page and images (16%).

“When the experience falters, lags and causes frustration, today’s consumers are more likely to abandon their online and mobile banking activities,” Polidoro noted.

In fact, if presented with a single bad experience or shown an irrelevant offer on their bank’s website or mobile site, Maxymiser found that 42% would abandon their transaction and leave the site/page. 15% of consumers said they would consider changing their banking institutions altogether.

( Read More: Responsive Web Design For Financial Institutions – Fad Or Strategy? )

Popular Digital Banking Activities

Maxymiser found that 32% of consumers visit their bank’s physical branch once or twice per month, while 5% never make any branch visits.

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When given the choice, 27% of respondents in the Maxymiser study would choose to access their bank via a smartphone/tablet, rather than use their desktop/laptop computers.

The three most important activities completed when respondents visit either their bank’s website or mobile site include: checking balance (37%), depositing funds (21%) and transferring funds (17%).

( Read More: Consumers Expect More From Mobile Banking Apps Than They Get )

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The research was conducted July 25 – 30, 2013 and included a random sample of 1,000 U.S. consumers ages 18 years or older who own at least one desktop/laptop computer, smartphone and tablet. The full study, “Branchless Banking: A New Era of Online & Mobile Banking,” and findings are available for download from Maxymiser’s website (standard registration form required).

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