About two thirds of home banking consists of balancing checkbooks and budgeting, according to the American Home Financial Services Survey by the Emerging Technologies Research Group of FIND/SVP and Jupiter Communications. The report says that 34.8 million households had PCs, up from 33.2 million a year earlier. Some 55 percent of PC households use the PC to help manage their finances, up from 45 percent in 1995. Home finances rank third in home PC popularity, behind games and children's educational activities. Using the PC for finances helps set the stage for growth in on- line/Internet financial applications, according to the survey.

In addition, to gain better control of their personal/ household finances, consumers said they need better record keeping; faster, more personalized access to relevant investment information; simpler ways to comparison shop for financial services, especially insurance; and improvements in customer service.

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