As online banking evolves into an ever-widening mainstream, the spotlight has focused on how customers can use the channel in tandem with social media or to build a bank-branded virtual world.

But in reality, Web 2.0 novelties still don't compel U.S. consumers nearly as much as secure, proactive communication and a more personalized experience online, according to recent research from Gartner. "There's a lot of talk in the industry about what online banking should have and what it should be able to do," says Stessa Cohen, research director with Gartner and author of the research. "But no one is asking, 'What do customers want to do?"

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