The popularity of online banking in Ireland has soared over the last year, with 2.2 million customers now registered, a 28% increase on the previous year.
According to data gathered from financial institutions by the Irish Banking Federation (IBF) and Irish Payment Services Organisation (Ipso), 2.2 million customers were registered for online banking by the end of 2008, up 27.8% on the 1.8 million recorded at the end of 2007. Ireland has a population of around 4.4 million.
In addition, there was a 31.6% rise in the number of Internet payments to 30.7 million - equivalent to 84,000 per day. A 33.6% increase, to 123 million, was also recorded in the number of times customers accessed their account balances online.
Pat Farrell, CEO, IBF, says: "We can see from the data compiled to date that online banking is on a significant growth path in Ireland. Comparative figures for 2007 show that the average user here made 14% more online payments and 20% more online enquiries than his/her UK counterpart. However, in a leading online adopter like Norway the average customer made around three times more payments online - indicating that there is considerable scope for further growth."
Una Dillon, head, card services and communications, Ipso, adds: "Online banking is facilitating the migration from cheques and other paper-based payment methods to electronic payments. The move to electronic payments is vital in ensuring Ireland's competitiveness and efficiency within the wider European market."