The number of UK consumers using Internet banking services has more than doubled in the past two years, rising from 3.5 million in 2000 to 7.8 million at the end of 2002, according to research by payment services firm Bacs.
Bacs estimates that, together with telephone banking, over 16 million consumers use remote services for checking balances and making payments.
The rise in confidence in Web banking has also led to a dramatic increase in the number of payments made via the net or telephone banking services. In 2002, 7.2 million consumers paid bills or transferred funds using the Web or the phone compared to 5 million the year before, an increase of 44 per cent. A total of 72 million payments were made online last year, with the payment of credit card bills accounting for half of these.
Fergus Rose, head of marketing, Bacs, says consumers have embraced the benefits of Internet and telephone banking in the last year to make payments.
"Our research reveals that users typically utilise the service as an information source to check their statement and balance, but as confidence and trust grows, they start to make transactions, including bill payments and transactions to friends and family," adds Rose.