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More Hispanics Bank Online Than Any Other Group

MAY 17, 2013 1:25pm ET
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It is a known fact that online banking varies by ethnic population, but who knew that Hispanics are significantly more likely to have engaged in some Internet banking activity, including mortgage transactions, than any other ethnic group, and all U.S. households.

In the past two years, according to the 2012-2013 MacroMonitor Market Trends, 85% of Hispanics were engaged in online banking, compared to 74% of all U.S. households.

MacroMonitor finds “acculturated Hispanics,” who are proficient in the English-language, can participate comfortably in U.S. surveys and use the Internet for many of their banking needs.

Data gathered by the report’s publisher, Consumer Financial Decisions of Princeton, N.J., show the trend is not new.

As early as year 2000 the number of Hispanic households using online banking has been higher than that of all U.S. households, with the exception of 2010 when it was slightly lower, and 2006 when the number of Internet banking Hispanics and all U.S. households was equal.

Hispanic households are more likely than all other households to go online for a number of services.

For example, 71% of Hispanics, compared to 64% of other Americans would go online to make account inquiries, 65% compared to 59% to pay bills, 62% compared to 49% to receive bills, and 60% compared to 49% to make routine transactions.

Hispanic households are taking advantage of the introduction of mobile applications for financial activities, the report found, as 40% use their smartphones to check balances and pay bills compared to 26% of all other households.

In addition they express “a stronger interest in doing peer-to-peer transactions.”

Another trend is that unlike other ethnic groups, Hispanics do not extend their online banking use “beyond basic bank functions.” For example, at 19% compared to 28% for all Americans, “they are significantly less likely” to engage in online investing.

“The growing number of acculturated-Hispanic households displays unique preferences for online financial activity and other means of access,” analysts wrote, showing distinctive patterns in their use of other financial services.

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