Norwegians are using Internet banking more than ever before, and over the last three years Internet banking usage has more than doubled.
These trends are identified by EDB Business Partner's annual statistics for 2008. The number of invoices paid through Internet banks increased by 12% in 2008, and the number of Internet banking account holders with Norwegian banks passed the 4 million milestone. This means that virtually every adult in Norway now uses Internet banking to pay accounts and manage his or her personal finances.
"We see that people are becoming ever more professional in their use of Internet banking, and we expect to see Internet banking develop over the next few years in pace with users' needs and expectations to become a complete control panel and administrative tool for Norwegians to manage their private finances. In many ways, banking customers are becoming their own bank managers", explains Helge Moan, Director for Solutions and Services Bank & Finance at EDB.
Explosive growth in Internet banking since the start in 1996
Internet banking has had a massive effect on how Norwegian banking customers manage their finances. Up to around 10 years ago, Norwegians paid their bills by posting a giro payment, through telephone banking or over the counter at their bank. Today, people pay their bills almost exclusively from their Internet bank accounts, and Internet banking has become the main channel for contact between banks and their customers.
EDB developed the first Internet banking system in Norway in 1996, and today the company supplies Internet banking systems and operating services to a large proportion of Norwegian banks and financial institutions. "Scarcely anyone anticipated at the beginning that Internet banking would win such a dominant position in such a short time", comments Helge Moan. He explains that the success of Internet banking in Norway reflects extensive use of PCs and broadband connections in private households and the high level of technical expertise shown by many Norwegians. "In parallel with this favourable clilimate, the crucial factor has been making Internet banking solutions simple and efficient to use so that banking customers experience a real improvement over the services they previously used", adds Helge Moan.
Internet banking trends in 2008
The number of invoices paid through Internet banking increased by 12% in 2008, and the average Internet banking customer used the service to pay 61 bills over the course of the year. The number of customers holding Internet banking account agreements with Norwegian banks increased by 8%, and EDB estimates that at the start of 2009 there were around 4.2 million Internet banking accounts in use in Norway. If growth continues at this pace, the number of accounts will overtake the size of the Norwegian population sometime in 2009.
The average Internet banking user is a 41-year-old man. The number of retired people using Internet banking increased in 2008. While customers over 65 years of age accounted for 4.8% of all Internet banking users in 2006, this grew to 6.4% in 2008. The busiest times for Internet banking use are Monday mornings between 10:00 and 11:00 and Monday evenings between 21:00 and 22:00.
Other electronic payment channels
- Use of credit cards as a means of payment increased by 11% in 2008. All of the 10 days in 2008 with the highest use of credit cards fell in December. The busiest day for credit card transactions was 22 December.
- Minibank use showed a 2% decline in 2008. The availability of new services through minibanks and an increase in the number of minibanks that accept cash deposits helped to limit the overall decline in minibank use. The average cash withdrawal from Norwegian minibanks in 2008 was NOK 1,224. The busiest time for cash withdrawals from minibanks is 16:00 on Friday afternoons.
- Secure payments for Internet shopping: In parallel with growth in Internet shopping, there is a steady increase in the number of Norwegians activating their payment cards to make secure payments over the Internet. The number of cardholders using secure card payments in 2008 was almost 3 times greater than in 2006. Over 8 million Norwegian cards are ready for secure Internet shopping, and at the start of 2009 around 2 million cards had been activated for secure card payments.
- Mobile telephone banking: A number of Norwegian banks have made mobile telephone banking available to their customers since this solution first became available three years ago. Usage of mobile banking has grown steadily since the launch, and users who sign on for mobile banking continue to use this alternative. The summer months of June, July and August, together with other holiday periods, see particularly high usage of mobile banking. Mobile banking gives access to largely the same range of services as Internet banking.
EDB's annual statistics
EDB is responsible for IT operations for the major part of Internet banking and minibank traffic in Norway. EDB also provides operating services for a range of other banking applications. EDB's statistics relate to traffic handled by EDB's systems, which represents a large proportion of the total number of transactions carried out in Norway annually. EDB has estimated total figures for Norway based on EDB's market share and the assumption that the remainder of the market has experienced the same trends as those seen for the transactions handled by EDB's system