According to a new survey from Harris Interactive (and commissioned by Symantec, makers of Norton AntiVirus), online banking is the leading Internet activity that makes your life easier.

According to the Harris poll, 86 percent noted that online banking saves them as much as five hours weekly and more than one-fifth (21 percent) of respondents say online banking has made it unnecessary for them to ever visit a bank in person.

As a hardcore online banker, I rarely have to go to the brick and mortar. In fact, I get slightly annoyed when I have to go to deposit a rebate check or get cash out of the ATM.

“Consumers are using the Internet to make each day of their lives easier and this research demonstrates that online banking — more than any other activity — makes a significant impact,” said Vince Steckler, senior vice president, worldwide consumer sales, Symantec.

Online banking also allows me to keep track of my purchases for reporting in my budget — it’s an invaluable resource.

Even though this report was commissioned for the purpose of promoting Norton Internet Security 2007 and their partnership with Bank of America, I’m slightly surprised that online shopping didn’t top the list.

Online banking is an amazing tool, but it’s still growing. Many consumers are still weary of making financial transactions online, even if it is totally safe.

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