Major Canadian Web Banking Site Redesigns Raise Competitive Stakes

TD Canada wins fifth consecutive G�mez Canadian Internet Banker Scorecard, but Royal Bank and others narrowed the gap with revamped Web platforms

December 23, Toronto, Canada — During one of the most intense six months of site development ever witnessed in Canada, five financial services firms launched new Web banking platforms and another two are planning imminent releases, according to research conducted by G�mez Inc., the Internet Quality Measurement leader, for its Q4 2002 Canadian Internet Banker Scorecard.

TD Canada Trust retained its top ranking for the fifth consecutive Internet banking Scorecard, narrowly edging out Royal Bank, which was one of the five Canadian financial services firms to launch a new banking platform during the review period. Scotiabank remained in the third spot (see rankings below).

“TD maintained its top spot with a platform that supports all available products including mutual funds and GICs,” noted Guy van Rooyen, a G�mez senior analyst who led the research for this Scorecard. “Interactive selection tools make product choice an easy one and the ability to apply for multiple products simultaneously aids time-conscious consumers.”

Key themes revealed by the Q4 2002 Canadian Internet Banker Scorecard include:

  • Scorecard segmentation is reinforced. The nation’s big five banks dominate the Scorecard. That’s not surprising given their considerable resources and dominant market share. President’s Choice Financial (PCF), a partnership between Loblaw’s and CIBC, for instance, soared from eleventh to fourth due in part to its new platform, which pre-fills critical information when customers apply for additional accounts, among other enhancements.
    Meanwhile, the two smallest financial services firms on the Scorecard (as measured by assets and accounts) — Vancity and Citizens Bank — finished in seventh and eighth place respectively, an impressive accomplishment given that they are competing against institutions of significantly greater size (in both assets and accounts).
  • Pace of site enhancements accelerates. With retail banking carrying the financial performance of many of Scorecard banks, budgets were expanded to allow for redesign initiatives. Leading the charge was RBC, with a complete overhaul of its transactional banking site and PCF, which revamped both its secure and non-secure sites. Other firms such as HSBC enhanced their marketing sites to reflect a new navigation scheme that will be implemented throughout secure pages in the coming year.
  • “Pay anyone” services are implemented (finally). Two years after pay anyone vendors first appeared in Canada, the services have finally begun to surface. CIBC, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust and Desjardins have all signed up to use Certapay’s platform. RBC has also signed up and plans to implement the service late in 2003. PCF has implemented an alternative form of pay anyone, providing wire transfer requests online.

G�mez’s Scorecard research shows major Canadian financial institutions attempting a very difficult two-step: focusing on both serving existing banking customers while attempting to migrate offline customers to the more cost-effective online channel. “In doing so, banks are hoping to reap cross-selling benefits and significant cost savings from the Web channel,” van Rooyen concluded.”
Rankings for the Q4 2002 Canadian Internet Banking Scorecard are as follows:

About G�mez

G�mez provides financial services firms and other leading companies committed to the Internet with competitive intelligence, benchmarking and expertise that enable effective business prioritization and alignment. Only G�mez integrates actionable research and applied analytics with performance measurement services to provide a comprehensive view of the entire customer experience. Over 33% of the world’s top financial services firms and 10% of the Fortune 1000 rely on G�mez to benchmark the quality of online services they deliver.

G�mez Performance Network (GPN) is a leading provider of Web page and transaction performance monitoring solutions to Fortune 1000 companies. GPN enables companies to measure the performance of their global Web sites in real-time, enabling them to continuously monitor site availability and responsiveness, worldwide. G�mezPro provides actionable research and competitive benchmarking and industry insight to help companies optimize online customer experience relative to consumer expectations, competitive offerings and alternative distribution channels.

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