Most people equate technological savvy with youth. However, new results from a Wells Fargo survey prove that assumption wrong.
Wells Fargo surveyed 1,000 online banking customers across all age groups to measure their online engagement, sophistication and habits.
The survey did find that digital sophistication generally declines with age. However, there were some surprising findings:
— Most people stick to simple digital activities. For example, 93 percent of respondents have a digital camera, but less than a third use digital photo-sharing tools. Similarly, 92 percent of respondents have a cell phone, but only 22 percent have used an internet-based phone service such as Skype.
— More surprising was that the savviest web users are not twentysomethings but thirtysomethings. While twentysomethings took first place with entertainment " from watching television online to social networking " thirtysomethings are more likely to use advanced photo and video technologies, use career networking services, and manage their finances online.
While more than 80 percent of respondents pay bills and transfer money between accounts online, only 38 percent have gone beyond banking to manage a 401K or IRA online. Less than a third buy and sell stocks or manage investments online, and just 16 percent use an online budgeting tool. Fewer than half have obtained a free credit report online.
While relatively few people are using advanced online financial management tools, in general survey respondents were committed to managing their finances. Agreement with the statement "I'm always on top of my finances and always make time to manage my finances" ranged from 56 percent of twentysomethings to 76 percent in the 70 years of age-plus group.
"There's so much in the news about social networking but it's interesting that just 10 percent of respondents said they make social networking a high priority, compared to 65 percent of those who make their finances a high priority," said Stephanie Smith, senior vice president, Online Sales and Marketing, Wells Fargo, in a statement.