Are we heading to a cashless society?
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This Monday we are looking into some fresh insights regarding online banking. Questia Group has made a research through an online survey on www.questia.ro, covering 1,276 respondents. The survey was active between the 22nd and 24th of November.
The research covers three topics: how people interact with their main bank; why people use or avoid using online banking; as well as usage and purpose of online banking services in Romania.
Before we present our results, let’s focus a bit on the topic of e-banking. Generally, this service allows viewing one’s account balances and accessing them anytime, anywhere from PCs, laptops, tablets or smartphones. E-banking has numerous implications for the economic sector. The adoption of digital technologies has pushed businesses to rethink their traditional business models and integrate IT systems as a strong asset. Also, customer demands have grown due to digitalization. Thus, services should incorporate simple and safe ways to address customer needs. At the same time, the digitalization of the banking sector is strongly connected to one of the European Commission’s priorities of strengthening the Digital Single Market in all member states.
How people interact with their main bank
As for Romania, the percentage of online banking users went from 2% to 6% in the last three years, according to a research made for Erste Group and BCR. The Romanian population that uses banking services over the age of 15 is estimated at about 9.5 million people or 56% of the active population.
We asked our respondents how they interact with their main bank. Interestingly enough, respondents use a mix of online banking, mobile banking and visits to the banking units in order to interact with their main bank.
Therefore, 75.5% of the people say that they use the services provided by the ATM machine, 52.5% make regular visits to the banking units, 47.8% use internet banking, 18.0% use phone banking and 5.5% use the MFM services. Moreover, people working in the private sector are the majority of online banking users (68.2%), as to the ones working in the public sector (31.8%). See our previous study here.
According to another study, Romanians admit that their money management has improved due to the use of online banking. (The study can be found here). Our past study shows a couple of insights regarding saving and spending habits. However, there are some reasons to why people avoid or don’t use online banking.
Why people avoid using online banking
In our study, 28.1% said that they do not trust online and mobile services when it comes to handling their personal money. Also, 31.1% of our respondents prefer having personalized relations with their banks.
Another percent of 25.4% didn’t have time to use such services and 12.0% admit that the online process is hard for them, but we consider that these users have trouble adjusting to new technologies. Other reasons attributed to the lack of online banking services refer to the fact that they don’t allow people to make more complicated operations (6.5%) and 2.1% don’t have access to such services because they are not available for their main bank. There are some (3.5%) that never heard of this service. It is thus important for banks to make their services reachable and available for the population, as well as for governments to start developing tools in order to boost the digitalization process.
Usage and purpose of online banking services
Almost two-thirds of the respondents (60.7%) are frequent users of internet banking, accessing services at least once a week. Another 35.1% of our respondents use internet banking on a monthly basis, while only 4.1% less than once a month.
These results show the exponential growth that internet and banking services have occupied in people’s lives, facilitating a various range of transactions.
As for the operations that respondents make through online banking, answers are diverse. A 65.1% goes to consulting/printing balance and bank accounts, 60.7% goes to payments in RON, 58.9% to paying bills online to utility providers, 34.1% to transfer money inter or intra-bank between own accounts, 28.9% to account management, 26.6% to consulting or managing rates, and 17.4% to creating/managing saving deposits.
Also, 14.1% of internet banking operations are reserved to direct debit, 10.3% to currency exchange and 10.0% to term deposits (establishing or liquidation). Only 2.3% are used to creating or managing mortgages and 2.6% to manage investment funds.
We expect numerous changes in the field of e-banking, coming both from banks and from clients’ demands, considering that Romania has made substantial improvements in mobile-broadband penetration, as well as internet access and use. Stay connected to Questia Group Group so to find out more information on the banking industry in real time.