When it comes to predicting when emerging technologies will be widely accepted nationally, the 1996 survey found few differences between big and small banks.

To be sure, the 300 largest banks and community banks with assets between $100 million to $500 million did not see eye to eye on everything. But mostly, the responses indicated modest disagreement on the pace of implementation. Some 90% of the large banks, for example, said they expect financial transactions over the Internet to be common by 2000, a view shared by 80% of small banks. Institutions of all sizes were in even closer agreement that electronic bill payment would catch on slowly.

Perhaps the most surprising result involved expectations for the electronic payment of federal entitlement benefits. Just 60% of large banks and 70% of community banks responded that electronic benefits transfer would be used nationally by the year 2000.

Banks of all sizes appear skeptical of the federal timetable requiring payment of all government benefits electronically by 1999.

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