How internet banking users said goodbye to Sunday
Monday is here and so are the latest updates from Questia Group! We have focused on internet banking the last couple of weeks and today’s topic makes no exception. Our study aims to highlight how Romanians relate to internet banking and what are the major benefits and drawbacks of this service. Our research was made through an online survey on www.questia.ro covering 1,219 respondents. The survey was active between 6 and 8 December.
Asked if they used internet banking in the last 30 days, Romanians responded in a balanced manner: 52.2% said they did, while 47.8% said they didn’t. This score points out to the fact that although Romanians are engaging in a broad range of online activities (reading news online 46%, voice and video call 42%, social networks 78%), they are less willingly to engage in online transactions as much. According to the European Commission, despite the progress shown in Romania in regard to Internet usage, the share of online banking users (9.6%) or the ones who shop online (18%) place our country at the lowest rank in the EU. By enhancing trust in online transactions as well as by boosting digital literacy for its inhabitants, Romania can better develop its level of the digital economy.
As for the main benefits of using internet banking, saving time was the most mentioned – 83.2%, followed by the fact that it facilitates better access for clients.
In this sense, 74.8% appreciate online banking because they no longer depend on the bank’s timetable to make transactions and 70.9% say that they can make transactions when they are out of town. As one article shows, online banking users can ‘say goodbye to Sunday’ and to some extend to interactions with the bank itself, since now mobile banking on one’s smartphone basically brings one’s bank into their hands. Thus, accessing the bank account from virtually everywhere makes this service very convenient.
Other advantages are related to obtaining information faster (57.1%) and more efficient. After a long day at the office, standing in line to be informed about one’s account doesn’t seem something worth doing. Also, monitoring transitions and thinking of a savings plan is much easier through internet banking. Moreover, some agree that some products/services that banks offer are cheaper if contracted online (23.9%), while some (1.9%) find internet banking as offering them other advantages. Only a very small fraction of 0.5% say that internet banking offers no benefits for them.
When it comes to the major drawbacks of internet banking, respondents say that not being able to talk with a bank consultant is one of its key disadvantages (31.3%).
This can also turn one of its biggest benefits (saving time) into an actual drawback (1.9% say that it can sometimes be time-consuming). Not being able to get some advice on products/services means finding them out yourself and this can take some time. It is true that most banks have a list of FAQs and information, yet sometimes they are long to read. Another drawback that can emerge from not being able to benefit from the advice of a bank consultant is related to what respondents referred to as making mistakes while filling data (27.8%), added to the fact that 2.5% say that internet banking is difficult to use and understand. Data security is yet another issue in a proportion of 24.2%. Although all banks use secure encryption software, this not necessarily translates into data security, especially in times where identity theft is a major issue and internet transactions can be vulnerable to fraud. Other mentioned disadvantages are linked to few specific information about conditions, commissions or products/services (20.1%), the fact that one still has to go to the bank when dealing with many complex issues (5.5%) and others (2%).
However, the largest percent of 31.9% wasn’t attributed to a drawback, but on the contrary: Romanians don’t see disadvantages for online banking. This optimism should be taken into account by banks, but at the same time the percentage should be considered as representative of the online population who is generally more open to using online tools and promoting of new technologies.
Don’t miss next Monday’s findings that Questia Group brings. Find out more about consumer behavior, attitudes and beliefs in regard to numerous topics, from banking to consumer goods, internet, leisure, marketing and retail in real time.