Norwegians love Web banking

Norwegians love Web banking

Nearly the entire adult population of Norway - about four million people - now use Internet banking services, according to bank processing firm EDB Business Partners.

EDB says its statistics are based on traffic in its systems and the assumption that the remainder of the Norwegian market has experienced the same trends.

According to its data, EDB says there has been a 10% rise in the number of Web bankers in the country over the past 12 months and the figure has grown three-fold in the last four years.

The total use of Internet banking services - including payments, account balance checking, account history enquiries, transfers between accounts and other services - grew by around 20% in 2007. Between 2003 and 2007 the number of transactions carried out online has increased by 144%, says EDB.

The vendor estimates that Internet bank users in Norway pay an average of nearly 60 bills a year online.

"Internet banking is very definitely the dominant channel that Norwegians use to manage their personal finances," says Helge Moan, director, solutions and services, bank and finance, EDB. "Users are becoming ever more professional, and we see increasing customer need and preference for new service opportunities to be added to Internet banking."

EDB says Web banking in the country is now moving towards more interactive and user-driven communication between the customer and the bank, based on individual preferences and needs. Banks and customer will also soon be able to enter into agreements electronically, predicts EDB.

The number of card payments made in Norway also continues to rise, with the number of transactions passing through the company's systems up by 15% on the previous year. The vendor also reports a 113% rise in the number of people registering for secure card payments via its system, to 1.5 million in 2007.

Minibank use rose by four per cent in 2007, following falls in 2005 and 2006. EDB says this reflects greater use of new services like depositing cash and buying mobile phone credit. The vendor estimates that Norwegians used minibanks about 98 million times in 2007 with more than NKr100 billion of cash dispensed.

A study by analyst house Gartner recently found that online banking take-up is also becoming mainstream in the UK and US. Around 33% of American customers - the equivalent of 71 million people - regularly use Web banking services. The UK numbers are not as high, but the survey shows that 26% - around 14 million adults - bank online.

However, despite the success of the online channel, Gartner, like EDB, found that it has not resulted in a decline in the take-up of other channels such as ATMs.

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