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Westpac Women & Technology Report

03 March 2013

Westpac has today released new research revealing that Australian women are embracing technology ahead of their male peers. The Westpac Women and Technology Report highlighted that while desktops are still the primary way for people to bank online, mobile banking is clearly growing. Women are leading the charge to bank-on-the-go, as they are almost three times more likely than men to use a smartphone as their preferred way to bank online1.

 

Younger generations of women in particular are embracing mobile technology (mobility). The research revealed that 30% of women aged under 30 are using a smartphone to do their banking compared with just 9% of women aged 30 and over.

 

Westpac Group’s customer data confirms this trend, with more than three million active online customers, close to half of these are now using mobile devices to bank.

 

When asked how technology has changed everyday life, some of the responses from women surveyed included easier access to knowledge (86%), searching things easily (84%), connecting with others anytime (76%), saving time and/or money (75%) and managing finances more easily (75%).

 

Of those who thought technology has made managing their finances easier, 79% of women believe this was due to 24/7 access to their finances enabling them to save time. This is in line with the introduction of Westpac’s Banking for iPad app, which has received over 200,000 downloads in just over six months since launch.

www.westpac.com.au AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714

More broadly, mobility has also made an impact on the way women interact socially, with females considerably more likely to use social media sites than men (68% vs. 50%).

 

Westpac Director of Women’s Markets, Larke Riemer, said, "The research reflects what we already know – that women are great at multi-tasking. We are always looking for new ways to make our busy lives easier. Women seek out technology that allows us to manage our lives, connect with friends and network when we’re on the go.

 

"It is great to see the younger generation of women rapidly adopting mobile technology to do their banking and socialise online. I’d like to see more women over 30 beginning to feel more comfortable in this space," said Ms Riemer.

 

The appeal of social networking for women is so strong that four in five (86%) said they access social media at least once a day and 43% indicated they couldn’t live without it. This engagement is much higher in comparison to men, with just 76% accessing social media at least once a day and only 22% feeling they couldn’t live without it.

 

Working women are the most ‘mobile’ of all; 86% own at least one smartphone and the same proportion (86%) access social media at least once a day, considerably higher when compared with women who are not currently in the workforce (58% smartphone ownership and 71% social media access at least once a day).

 

"Juggling work and at-home commitments is certainly a challenge and these women are turning to technology to find ways to seek and share information, whether it’s about their finances, social life or lifestyle.

 

"Westpac is constantly looking for ways to improve our mobile service and we always emphasize customer led innovation. We recently upgraded our website dedicated to women, therubyconnection.com.au, to make it more mobile friendly so more women can stay connected and make use of the online financial education elements.

 

"Our Westpac Banking for iPad Application has seen more than 3.3 million customer log-ins and processed $1.3 billion dollars’ worth of transactions since July last year. It is clearly the direction our customers want to move in, improved efficiency and control over where and when they bank," said Ms Riemer.

www.westpac.com.au AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714

Key Findings

Mobility

 

• The most important way technology is facilitating organizing the personal lives of women is through its mobility (49%).

 

• The primary way technology was assisting financial management for women was 24/7 access to finances which saves time (79%).

 

• The vast majority of men and women do most of their banking transactions online (91% and 92% respectively).

 

• 30% of women under 30 use their smartphone for online banking, compared 5% of women aged 40 +.

 

• 11% of women use a smart phone as their primary way to bank online, verses 4% of men.

 

• Males more likely to have a desk top 67% (females 60%).

 

• 57% of women owned at least one tablet device.

 

• 23% of women were banking on mobile devices compared to men at 13%.

 

• 94% of women under 40 own at least one smartphone, compared with 54% of women aged 60 and over.

 

• 86% of working women use a smart phone, compared with 58% of stay-at-home women.

 

• 86% of working women use social media at least once a day compared with 71% of those who are not working.

 

Connectivity

 

• The single most important way technology is facilitating connections with others for females is through its mobility - allowing connection anytime, anywhere (50%).

 

• 26% of women look for more ways to connect with multiple friends at once vs. 20% for men.

 

• 65% of women access social media sites a few times a day or more (53% for men).

 

• The likelihood of women using social media sites to connect with others was 68%, for men it was 50%.

 

• 43% of females said they couldn’t live without social media, whereas only 22% of males felt the same way.

Technology and learning

• The top ways technology is changing everyday life for females included: easier access to knowledge (86%), searching things easily (84%), connecting with others anytime (76%), save time/money (75%) and managing finances easily (75%).

 

• The primary way in which technology was assisting financial management for females was providing 24/7 access to finances which saves time (79%). This was similar to findings for males.

 

• 7% of females currently use budget/planning apps with 28% planning to use them in the future. 22% did not know they existed.

Ipadiphone

 

About the survey

This survey was driven by online polling of 1,500 respondents currently residing in Australia, sourced from the CoreData panel. The sample is comprised of 1,000 females and 500 males. Executive summary of the report is available upon request.

 

The Westpac Banking App is available for free from the App Store on iPad or at www.itunes.com/appstore

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