The 43 Financial Sites With the Most Unique U.S. Visitors in January per Compete

image Every month, Compete publishes a list of the 1,000 websites with the most U.S. monthly unique visitors. In January 2011, 43 were financial sites (banking, payments, brokerages, cards, credit reports, lending, or personal finance). Of the 43, 14 were banks (see note 1).

For a little context, Google topped the list with 145 million. The largest banks were similar to Apple (34 mil), Twitter (28 mil), Flickr (21 mil), or Yelp (12 mil).

Company Traffic Type
1. paypal.com 30 mil    Payments
2. chase.com 25 Bank (#1)
3. bankofamerica.com 24 Bank (#2)
4. intuit.com 20 Personal finance
5. wellsfargo.com 16 Bank (#3)
6. capitalone.com 13 Bank (#4)
7. citibank.com 12 Bank (#5)
8. hrblock.com 12 Tax
9. lowermybills.com 8.5 Personal finance
10. americanexpress.com 8.4 Cards
11. taxactonline.com 7.7 Tax
12. discovercard.com 7.3 Cards
13. taxact.com 7.3 Tax
14. wachovia.com 6.2 Bank (#6)
15. fidelity.com 5.6 Investments
16. usbank.com 5.4 Bank (#7)
17. hsbccreditcard.com 4.9 Bank (#8))
18. netteller.com 4.5 Banking services (Jack Henry)
19. pnc.com 3.9 Bank (#9)
20. bankrate.com 3.9 Personal finance
21. usaa.com 3.8 Bank (#10)
22. progressive.com 3.8 Insurance
23. creditreport.com 3.4 Credit reports
24. allstate.com 3.4 Insurance
25. freescore360.com 3.2 Credit reports
26. freecreditscore.com 3.2 Credit reports
27. turbotax.com 3.2 Tax
28. orchardbank.com 2.8 Credit cards
29. ingdirect.com 2.7 Bank (#11)
30. hrsaccount.com 2.7 Credit cards (HSBC)
31. salliemae.com 2.7 Student loans
32. statefarm.com 2.6 Insurance
33. mycheckfree.com 2.6 Payments
34. suntrust.com 2.4 Bank (#12)
35. vanguard.com 2.3 Investments
36. speedpay.com 2.2 Payments (Western Union)
37. regions.com 2.2 Bank (#13)
38. tdbank.com 2.1 Bank (#14)
39. sharebuilder.com 2.0 Investments
40. bbt.com 2.0 Bank (#15)
41. gemoney.com 2.0 Lending
42. annualcreditreport.com 2.0 Credit reports
43. bbandt.com 1.9 Bank (#16)

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Note:
1. There are 16 bank URLs in the top 1,000, but wachovia.com is part of Wells Fargo. And bbt.com and bbandt.com are both BB&T Bank.

Top 25 Financial Institutions Ranked by U.S. Web Traffic

image Ever since Compete came along with its free Web traffic estimates, my work life has been much improved. Now, every time I review a startup or financial company, I check out their website traffic from Compete’s free service to give me a sense of how big the company is and how fast they are growing.

But I’d also always coveted the Pro version, which unlocks a bunch more detail on each website, including two years of historical traffic data. So I took the plunge today and upgraded to Pro.

One of the first things I did with my newfound data trove was to highlight the financial institutions, insurance, and investment companies on the list of the 1,000 busiest websites (based on U.S. traffic). There were 29 FI websites, representing 26 unique companies.

PayPal was the top financial company with 30 million unique visitors, making it the 25th most visited site on the Internet. Chase was the largest commercial bank, just 2 million higher than Bank of America.

FI Rank All Rank Name Unique U.S. Visitors
(Aug. 2010)
 
1 25   PayPal 30 mil
2 35   Chase 25 mil
3 36   Bank of America 23 mil
4 57   Wells Fargo 14 mil
5 71   Citibank 13 mil
6 81   Capital One 12 mil
7 146   American Express 7.8 mil
8 154   Discover Card 7.6 mil
9 187   Wachovia (Wells) 6.7 mil
10 243   Citicards (Citi) 5.4 mil
11 252   Geico 5.3 mil
12 256   US Bank 5.2 mil
13 279   HSBC Credit Card 4.9 mil
15 298   Fidelity 4.7 mil
15 329   Netteller (Jack Henry) 4.3 mil
16 353   PNC Bank 4.0 mil
17 387   Progressive 3.8 mil
18 402   USAA  3.6 mil
19 601   ING Direct 2.7 mil
20 625   Orchard Bank 2.6 mil
21 640   HSRAccount (HSBC) 2.5 mil
22 693   State Farm 2.4 mil
23 737   SunTrust 2.2 mil
24 757   AllState  2.2 mil
25 791   BB&T  2.1 mil
26 816   TD Bank 2.0 mil
27 853   Vanguard 2.0 mil
28 854   Regions Bank 2.0 mil
29 925   Fifth Third Bank 1.8 mil

Source: Compete, 27 Sep. 2010
FI Rank = Rank among financial institutions (includes card issuers and investment companies)
All Rank = Rank among all websites

Compete Reports an 8% Monthly Increase in Online Credit Card Applications, But 23% Decline from 2008

imageFor card issuers, the latest online application activity is is either good news, bad news, or neither since Compete tracks only applications submitted, not approvals. This following chart was presented in its webinar today. You can request the entire deck at the bottom of its blog post.

According to Compete, there were more than 12 million credit card shoppers in the U.S. in December, up 6% from November and down 11% since a year ago. Of the shoppers, about 20%, or 2.4 million submitted an application. That was an 8% increase from Nov., but a 23% decline from a year ago. 

But Compete has no way to measure whether the card applications it tracks are approved. Recent data from Lending Club shows that less than 10% of its online consumer loan applications were approved in Q4. The big credit card issuers probably do a bit better by driving creditworthy borrowers to their sites via direct mail and online advertising.

Assuming approval rates of 20%, the 2.4 million credit apps in December resulted in about a half-million new accounts.  

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Source: Compete, 29 Jan. 2009

Online Financial Services Scorecard: June 2008

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The June financial shopping numbers released by Compete revealed a mixed bag as interest in credit cards, home equity, and purchase loans fell double digits compared to a year ago. However, deposit activity moved in the opposite direction.

More specifics:

  • Although credit card application volume was relatively flat (down 1% for the year and down 4% for the month), the number of shoppers decreased 39% compared to a year ago. Although the data shows only application volume, there has likely been a sharp drop in approvals, as underwriting standards stiffen and credit-worthy applicants stay on the sidelines. 
  • In June there was a slight drop in checking shoppers (down 4%) and applications (down 5%) compared to May. However, year-over-year both were up with a 32% increase in shoppers and a 6% increase in applicants.
  • However, savings shoppers increased 51% from last year and 7% from May with applications up 43% compared to last year and 24% over last month.
  • High-yield savings showed similar gains compared to a year ago, with 31% more shoppers and 30% more applications. 
  • Home equity and purchase mortgage activity were both off compared to the previous month and also a year ago. The only good news was an increase in refi activity with 10% more shoppers than May and 27% more than a year ago. But application volumes were down 21% from May and down 34% compared to last year.

About the financial services scorecard
A little over a year ago, we introduced the Financial Services Monthly Performance scorecard produced by Compete. It summarizes the overall performance of 23 large U.S. financial institutions and lead-generation sites. Refer here for the detailed methodology as well as companies tracked.

Notes:
1. Year-over-year comparisons were added to the chart beginning in March 2008. Because of ongoing methodology tweaks, the percentages in this table may be slightly different than if you went back to the data from a year ago and calculated the change. 

2. Leads/applicants = Leads or applications depending on whether the site tracked is a lead-generation site or an actual lender.

Online Financial Services Scorecard: May 2008

compete_may08.png

May continued to show increases in both deposit and home-loan shoppers while demand for credit cards edged downward. On a year-over-year basis, almost all segments are down with the exception of home equity and home purchase.

  • Credit card shopping was down slightly (-1%) compared to April and down 7% in applicants. Conversion also declined 2% over the previous month.
  • Compared to April, deposits had big gains in both checking and savings shopping, up 8% and 5% respectively. 
  • Both savings and high-yield savings saw more than 20% gains in number of applicants compared to the previous month; however, both were down compared to a year ago.
  • Despite increased shopping volumes, home-secured lending, as measured by the number of leads and/or applications, dropped compared to last month. The largest was the 38% drop in refinance activity.
  • Conversion rates were down in all three loan categories, dropping 1% in home equity, 2% in purchase, and 4% in refinance.

About the Financial Services Scorecard
A year ago, we introduced the Financial Services Monthly Performance scorecard produced by Compete. It summarizes the overall performance of 23 large U.S. financial institutions and lead-generation sites. Refer here for the detailed methodology as well as companies tracked.

Notes:
1. Year-over-year comparisons were added to the chart beginning in March 2008. Because of ongoing methodology tweaks, the percentages in this table may be slightly different than if you went back to the data from a year ago and calculated the change. 

2. Leads/applicants = Leads or applications depending on whether the site being tracked is a lead-generation site or an actual lender.

Online Financial Services Scorecard: April 2008

Financial services scorecard April 2008

Summary
Looking at the data from Compete’s consumer panel, there were several significant swings in activity compared to a year ago (see note 1):

  • Credit card applications, up 37%
  • Checking account applications, up 28%
  • Home equity applications/leads (see note 2), down 34%
  • Refinance applications/leads, up 41%

 Commentary

  • Credit cards seemed to settle down after the large jump in March. Both shoppers and applicants were down 1% compared to March, but year-over-year applications were up 37% (in comparison, last month card apps were up 53% compared to a year earlier)
  • Deposit shopper volume stayed relatively consistent except for checking which saw a 9% increase. However, applicants for savings and high-yield savings dropped 17% and 12%, respectively. Last year, high-yield savings accounts were more in demand, with 50% more applications in April 2007 compared to April 2008. Declining interest rates appear to be impacting consumer demand. 
  • In the home-secured sector, there was more activity in the refinance sector with a 4% gain in shoppers and a 3% gain in applications compared to last month. Compared to a year ago, refinance apps were up sharply 41%. 
  • Purchase mortgage activity was flat.
  • Home equity showed a significant decline, with shopping down 8% from March and down 17% from a year ago. Application levels were flat compared to last month, but down 34% year-over-year.

About the Financial Services Scorecard
A year ago, we introduced the Financial Services Monthly Performance scorecard produced by Compete. It summarizes the overall performance of 23 large U.S. financial institutions and lead-generation sites. Refer here for the detailed methodology as well as companies tracked.

Notes:
1. Year-over-year comparisons were added to the chart beginning in March. Because of ongoing methodology tweaks, the percentages in this table may be slightly different than if you went back to the data from a year ago and calculated the change. 

2. Leads/applicants = Leads or applications depending on whether the site being tracked is a lead-generation site or an actual lender.

Online Financial Services Scorecard: March 2008

Compete Netbanker Online Financial Services Statistics March 2008

Summary
According to data from Compete’s consumer panel, March rebounded from the lower traffic in February. Every product, except standard savings accounts, posted increases in the number of applications. Credit cards were the biggest gainer (up 24% in shoppers, up 13% in applications) following sharp declines the past few months. Home loans market performed similarly, with double-digit increases in applications for both purchase (up 15%) and refinances (up 12%). 

New this month, we have valid year-over-year comparisons shown (see note 1). Compared to a year ago, both checking and credit cards applicants and shoppers have risen significantly. Home loan shoppers are up slightly, but applications are up. 

Commentary

  • Credit cards saw a large jump in both shoppers and applicants. The credit crisis seems to have benefited the credit cards market as applications, especially for balance-transfer cards, have increased. Compared to a year ago, shoppers are up 47% and applicants are up 53%. However, conversion dropped by 2% from February.
  • Deposits saw overall shopper loss in all three segments during March, but applications for checking were up 2% as were high-yield savings (up 8%). Last year at this time, deposits were increasing across all segments. In March of 2008, however, applicant levels are below what they were in 2007 with 31% drop in high-yield savings applicants and a 7% decline in all savings accounts.
  • After a terrible February, refinance mortgages posted a 27% gain in shoppers as well as a 12% gain in applicants. Year-over-year refinance applications are up 32% from a year ago. Purchase mortgages also saw a similar improvement from last month with a gain of 23% over last year. Home equity had the largest gain in applications in the month of March as leads/applications (note 2) grew 34%. Year over year, however, applications are down 32% due to the housing crisis of the past few months.

About the Financial Services Scorecard
A year ago, we introduced the Financial Services Monthly Performance scorecard produced by Compete. It summarizes the overall performance of 23 large U.S. financial institutions and lead-generation sites. Refer here for the detailed methodology as well as companies tracked.

Notes:
1. New this month: Year-over-year comparisons are now included in the monthly table. Because of ongoing methodology tweaks, the percentages in this table may be slightly different than if you went back to the data from a year ago and calculated the change. 

2. Leads/applicants = Leads or applications depending on whether the site being tracked is a lead-generation site or an actual lender.

Online Financial Services Scorecard: February 2008

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Summary
According to data from Compete's consumer panel, both applicants and shoppers in all segments dropped in February. Recession fears appear to be negatively impacting sales activity. However, conversion rates stayed relatively constant except for credit cards, indicating that those still shopping are serious buyers. 

Commentary

  • The credit card industry saw a slight decline in both shoppers and applicants (note 1). This has been the case for the past few months following the large holiday push by the credit card companies. Conversion dropped significantly to 23%, down 6% from January and down 9% from December. However, it's back to where it was in second quarter 2007, so it may be more of a seasonal drop than a falloff in demand. 
  • Deposits saw losses across all three segments, especially high-yield savings which was down 25% in applications, as the Fed's rate cuts trickled through the banking industry. In checking, all but two competitors tracked saw decreased application volumes. 
  • Refinance mortgages had the biggest drop in February, posting a 30% decline in shoppers and 19% in applications. Purchase mortgages saw a similar decline in applications (down 18%), but only an 18% drop in shoppers. 
  • The home equity segment fared the best in the home loan category with 10% fewer applications and an 8% drop in shoppers.

About the Financial Services Scorecard
In April, we introduced the Financial Services Monthly Performance scorecard produced by Compete. It summarizes the overall performance of 23 large U.S. financial institutions and lead-generation sites. Refer here for the detailed methodology as well as companies tracked.

Note:
1. There was a change in Compete's methodology for measuring credit card shopping activity, so February's count January's cannot be compared. However, the 4% decline shown in the chart is correct, reflecting the change from what January would have been under the new methodology. 

Online Financial Services Scorecard: January 2008

Compete monthly online finance application and sales statistics

Summary
According to data from Compete's consumer panel, the deposit and home loan categories experienced significant increases in both shoppers and applicants during January (with the exception of home equity). Credit cards took a big hit as both shoppers and applicants dropped by double digits. Conversion across the board stayed relatively constant across the three segments, with credit cards moving the most with a drop of 3%.

Commentary

  • The credit card segment experienced a decline in the new year as both shoppers and applicants dropped significantly at several large issuers. All but one of the major issuers being tracked experienced downturns.
  • Mortgage refinance continued its upward trend from last month with a 16% jump in shoppers and 57% increase in leads/applications. The pushed the conversion rate up 2%.
  • Purchase mortgages performed the best out of the home loans segment as more than half of the providers received at least 30% more applications during the month of January.
  • Even though home equity jumped significantly in terms of shoppers to their sites, there was still a 7% drop in leads/applications. Home equity had a similar trend last month when leads dropped 6%. Even though home equity lenders were seeing getting their shopping traffic back, they were not successful in converting them to applications in January.
  • Deposits saw the most growth of the three segments as it grew in shoppers and applicants across all three categories. Three major checking providers turned in 50% growth in both shoppers and applicants. Only one financial institution tracked showed a significant increase in conversion. This created an increase in conversion for the market of +1% with a similar growth rate in both shoppers and prospects.
  • Savings performed even better than checking as all but two companies saw a significant jump in applications as well as shoppers. Because of the increases, conversion stayed stagnant at 6%.
  • High-yield savings followed the same path as the entire competitive set saw double-digit increases in shoppers, and only one had a decrease in applications.

About the Financial Services Scorecard
In April, we introduced the Financial Services Monthly Performance scorecard produced by Compete. It summarizes the overall performance of 23 large U.S. financial institutions and lead-generation sites. Refer here for the detailed methodology as well as companies tracked.

Online Financial Services Scorecard: December 2007

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Commentary
With the exception of refinance shoppers, most financial products experienced a downturn in both shopping and applications compared to November (see November chart below). This is not unusual during the busy December holiday period. Other observations:

  • On the bright side, the mortgage refi category experienced a sharp spike, up 27% in shopping volume, as mortgage rates dropped for conventional loans. However, that activity did not lead to an increase in applications, as that total dropped 17%. The busy holiday period may be to blame for the lack of follow through or consumers may have held off anticipating further rate drops.
  • Surprisingly, mortgage applications for home purchase actually increased 8% even though shopping activity dropped 5%.
  • There was no good news with home equity, as shopping declined 10% and application/leads went down 6%. Several companies experienced double-digit drops in conversion and leads/applications.
  • Credit card applications decreased 6% overall and with all but two of the tracked companies experiencing declines. The only good news: shopper-to-applicant conversion was up more than 3 points compared to November.
  • On the deposit side, the number of shoppers and applicants was down across-the-board. Several large financial institutions saw double-digit drops in prospects and applicants.
  • The biggest decline, most likely due to rate cuts, was in the high-yield savings category, which posted a 23% month-over-month decline in application volume. Conversion rates also slipped for all but two companies indicating that shoppers may have been disappointed with the posted rates.

Reference

Compete Financial Services Scorecard Nov 2007

About the Financial Services Scorecard
In April, we introduced the Financial Services Monthly Performance scorecard produced by Compete. It summarizes the overall performance of 23 large U.S. financial institutions and lead-generation sites. Refer here for the detailed methodology as well as companies tracked.