Reading about Numbers: 1

This page is an example of how charts and data are described in newspapers and magazines. Try to learn from the style – find the verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Note how there is a mix of sentences without numbers and sentences with numbers. Reading articles like this (perhaps from the financial pages of a local newspaper) will help you to write for Task 1 in IELTS.

Internet Banking on the Rise, Phone Banking Dropping

Internet banking continues to attract many Canadians, and appears to be taking its toll on phone banking, according to a study.

In 2002, one-quarter of Canadian adults made an Internet banking transaction in the month prior to the interview, up from 19 per cent in 2001. However, phone-banking usage fell from 26 per cent in 2001 to 22 percent last year.

“Online banking on the Internet is easier to use than phone banking,” said Rhonda Grunier, author of the How Canadians Bank study.

“A few years ago, more than half of people who had signed up for Internet banking started out as phone banking users. Today, a growing number are coming to Internet banking channel directly,” Grunier added.

Overall, three in ten Canadians – 31 per cent – were signed up for online banking in 2002, up from 24 per cent in 2001 and 20 per cent in 2000. And nearly half of Canadians with Internet access at home were signed up to bank online in 2002 – 47 per cent – up from 40 per cent in 2001.

Banking machines continue to be the most popular channel for conducting transactions, with 78 per cent of Canadian adults having used one in the past month. After years of steady growth, however, ATM usage appears now to have plateaued.

Canadians are increasingly going online to deal with their bills. In 2002, 21 per cent paid a bill through an online banking service, up from 16 per cent in 2001.

As for other payment methods, little has changed in Canadians’ use of credit cards and checks. Three-quarters of adults (74 per cent) hold a credit card and 56 per cent usually use their card(s) at least once a month. Almost two-thirds – 64 per cent – wrote at least one check in the past month, up slightly from 62 per cent in 2001, but the average number of checks written in a month per check writer continues a downward trend, dropping to 3.8 in 2002 from 4.1 in 2001.

Source: NFO Worldgroup, January 22, 2003:   (Link not working)