Scandinavian financial conglomerate Nordea has raised its forecasts for online banking subscriptions in the Nordic region to 3.2 million for 2002, after passing the one million milestone in the Swedish market ahead of schedule in December.
Nordea says it now has 1,040,000 e-customers in Sweden - compared to the 37,000 who signed up during 1999, when the group first launched its Internet service. This means that the one million target has been reached in two of Nordea's home markets, Finland and Sweden.
Nordea says total e-customers now number over 2.7 million, surpassing the target set for 2001. Usage of the Internet bank also rose substantially during the year, says the bank, with a total of 76 million log-ons and 88 million payments made, up by 38 and 40 percent respectively.
Nordea says it sees great future potential for Internet-related services and has raised its forecasts for online bank customer numbers to 3.2 million during 2002.
Bo Harald, head of electronic banking at Nordea says he expects the enthusiasm of consumers for e-finance to rub off on the business market.
"Using the group's expanding range of services over the Internet via computers and mobile phones is already an obvious choice," he says. "The idea that this behaviour can be conveyed to our corporate customers' e-services is not as widely recognised. We have already invested in new services making it easier and cheaper for our customers to shop and send invoices, and there is more to come."
At Nordea these services are currently available through the Solo market, currently subscribed to by 645 companies selling their goods and services. Just over 1800 shops and companies have e-payment agreements with Nordea.
"The Solo market makes it possible to buy and sell throughout the entire Nordic market," says Harald. "But customer behaviour and confidence are the essentials. Technology can be bought with money - behaviour requires time and hard work."