FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - Within four years 22.8 million U.S. households will bank online, according to a report from IDC Worldwide.

Traditional banks need to establish an aggressive online banking strategy and invest accordingly, and Internet-only banks should adjust their business models to remain relevant as competition from traditional banks increases, the researchers concluded.

"As the number of U.S. online banking households grows, banks need to stop thinking about the Internet as an alternative channel," said Shaw Lively, research manager for IDC's online financial services program. "Instead they need to think of it as a mainstream channel every bit as important as branches, call centers, and ATMs."

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