No surprise to hear that the "millenial" generation - some 80 million Americans currently ages 18-30 - are hooked on their technology tools, with nearly 90 percent of 1,600 surveyed globally by Javelin Strategy & Research saying they use Web-based search engines, cell phones, Web e-mail and social networking sites on a daily basis. What bankers may be surprised to hear is how dramatically their online banking habits vary from country-to-country, and that this generation would still rather come into the branch for complex transactions and financial advice.

The Microsoft-funded research found about two-thirds of American millenials prefer the Web channel for transferring funds, paying bills and viewing account statements. Australians showed significantly higher preferences in these categories, with 89 percent saying they prefer to use the Web for funds transfer and reviewing transactions.

Israeli tech firm WorkLight also conducted research on millenials. WorkLight's results found 50 percent would use Web 2.0 tools if their bank offered them, and 27 percent would switch banks based Web 2.0 gadget availability. Perhaps surprisingly, 61 percent of users 25 to 34 said they'd make the switch, compared with 39 percent of those 18 to 24; and men were more interested in the tools than women. This survey's results have a tech-bias though; its participants were 1,000 Facebook uses ages 18 to 34.

WorkLight's analysis suggests Web 2.0 tools are nice to have, rather than essential. This jibes with the Javelin results, which found rates and fees remain the highest ranked selection criteria.

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