Research by Nationwide Building Society showed that banking is the top reason for consumers going online.
More than three-quarters of respondents cite banking as their main motive behind accessing the Internet compared with 58 per cent who said social media was the principle driver.
Richard Searle, Nationwide's head of channel integration, said: "Online banking has really taken off over the last few years â¦ but I have to say even we were surprised to see it beat social media (eg Facebook) as one of the top reasons the nation goes online.â
âIt has also shown the amount we now all use online banking as part of our day-to-day lives, with a quarter of us going online 2-4 times a week and 12 per cent going online once a day, and this is only likely to grow as technology evolves and tablet computers are made more affordable."
The study also found that men and women are going online to bank for approximately the same amount of time as each other.
Recent research from Gartner predicted that global revenue from social media will hit $10.3 billion in 2011.
The figure represents a 41.4 per cent increase from the $7.3 billion worth of revenue recorded the previous year.
By Jim Ottewill