June 5, 2001, 12:00 AM

Online shoppers prefer e-wallets from their own banks, says a new study

53% of experienced online shoppers prefer e-wallets from their own banks vs. 36% from an Internet company and 11% from an ISP. E-wallet users tend to buy more than non-users.

Experienced users who shop online with an e-wallet prefer to use an e-wallet hosted by their own financial institution, a new study commissioned by MasterCard International reports. The study also shows that consumers who use e-wallets buy more than those who do not.

The study, "Understanding the E-Wallet User: A Market Research Report," was conducted by Greenfield Online. The study analyzes the e-wallet experience, focusing on user attitudes towards different types of e-wallet providers and exploring desired e-wallet functionality. E-wallets are desktop applications that automatically fill the order forms of online merchants. They are believed to encourage consumers to shop online because they simplify, expedite and secure the ordering process.

A goal of the study was to discover which e-wallet provider experienced users preferred. The majority, 53%, preferred e-wallets hosted by financial institutions over those sponsored by Internet companies (36%) and Internet Service Providers (11%). E-wallet users associated issuer-provided wallets with greater security, privacy and merchant acceptance. E-wallet users also expressed strong interest in having convenient access to other services provided by financial institutions` e-wallet applications, for example person-to-person payment support, checking account balances, or balance transfers. Furthermore, fewer than 2 in 10 online shoppers shop with an e-wallet from their PC desktops, indicating a tremendous opportunity for e-wallet issuers.

The vast majority of e-wallet users polled, 94%, were satisfied with their e-wallet experiences, reporting that the tool helped them with their online shopping experience. Additionally, more than 80% of the respondents stated they were likely to use their e-wallets within the next three months.

The study took place during the fourth quarter, 2000, between November 15 and December 9. The subject group consisted of 450 e-wallet users drawn from the Greenfield Online panel, which includes households across the United States.


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