March 2014: Online Banking Demos

The best demos and private site introductions provide users with a comprehensive walk-through of the private site in an intuitive and simple-to-use interface. For some firms, this includes test drive features, interactive sections or full demos where users can make sample transactions or test different tools. Other firms use a more traditional Flash-based site walk-through with audio voiceover. Regardless of the type of demonstration a firm employs, the best banks make their online banking demos easy to find, linking them from multiple sections of the public site. This Bank Monitor Report considers secondary demos dedicated to a single functionality or section of the site, along with how well firms promote these demos. Firms that offer mobile banking demos, in addition to online banking demos, are also reviewed in this report. As we investigated the demos offered by each Bank Monitor firm, we focused on the following issues and features:

  • Do firms make their demos easily available and how many types of demos do they offer?
  • Are the demos interactive, allowing users to input sample information, or are they static?
  • Do firms format their demos with clear transitions and explanations of tools and features?

Currently, eight firms offer a video demo encompassing the full private site, while four firms provide video demos of particular private site functions or tools, such as online bill pay. The remaining five firms not covered in this report do not offer online banking demos. Firms seem to have put time into creating user-friendly online banking demos that both explain and promote their sites; however, only five firms link their demos from the login box on the public site homepage and/or dedicated login page.


Among the firms that provide clients with a preview of most or all of their private site functions, six banks format their demos to match the layout of the online banking site. Arranging a demo like this makes it easiest for users to apply what they learned in the demo when actually using the private site on their own. In other site intros, users are either given a tour of major tools and functionalities without context of the site’s layout, or are provided with individual demos on specific tools only. In addition to flash-based films of online banking, several banks offer interactive tools that allow clients to practice using parts or all of the private site.

Additional key findings include:

  • Only two firms offer a full test drive of the private site.
  • Fifty percent of firms use an audio voiceover during the demo; three firms allow users to opt for closed captioning.
  • Only four firms provide users with basic forward/back and play/pause buttons to control the demo.