New research shows what Canadian and US banks can learn from each other about web site usability

Feb 04, 2014, 12:00 ET from Change Sciences Group

NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Web researchers Change Sciences Group released new data today comparing the consumer banking experience on the top Canadian bank web sites. According to the research, US banks are still the leaders by a slight margin when it comes to usability, but Canadian banks provide an experience that made users happier and more likely to recommend. Despite the higher happiness score, however, the data shows that Canadian banks have room for improvement on some of the most common tasks performed by customers.


Overall, Canadian banks trailed in usability metrics when compared to US banks that were part of a recent consumer banking study. Specifically, participants in the Canadian bank study took longer than the US banks to complete the defined task. However, there was a difference in how users completed the task and how they felt after the experience. Canadian banks scored 22% higher for overall happiness, 15% higher for likelihood to recommend, and 18% higher on likelihood to return than the US banks.

Among the five Canadian banks in the study there were clear differences in the experience. Participants were asked to complete two usability tasks common to bank web sites in general. While one of these tasks was completed by almost 90% of participants, the second task was only completed by about 50%. There were significant differences among the individual sites as well, with each displaying its strengths and weaknesses. For instance, top-performing site Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) performed 14% higher than the Bank of Montreal for perceived ease of use. And although Bank of Nova Scotia ranked third overall, it performed 12% higher for likelihood to take action than the top site. Additionally, second-ranked site TD Bank took an average of 23 seconds less to complete tasks than RBC.

According to Pamela Pavliscak, who directed the research project, "There are several things that both Canadian and US banks can take away from this research and learn from each other. Having a high perceived happiness score is a great start for Canadian banks, but identifying high performance patterns for the most critical and common tasks is where financial institutions should focus."

To learn more about the study, visit: The following sites are covered in the research: Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada, and Toronto-Dominion Bank.

About Change Sciences
Change Sciences is a group of qualitative researchers, data scientists, and software engineers dedicated to helping organizations measure and compare how people experience web sites. It counts 18 Fortune 100 companies as clients and has completed more than 700 projects in the last five years for clients in financial services, healthcare, entertainment, travel, government, e-commerce, and e-learning.

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SOURCE Change Sciences Group