Half of Irish population now using online banking

8 Apr 2009

Some 2.2 million banking customers are registered for online banking, and throughout 2008 over 30 million payments were made online, according to the Irish Banking Federation and the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO).

According to the organisations, the number of consumers using online banking continues to increase significantly, according to new statistics published today in the IBF/IPSO Online Personal Banking Report.

The growth in popularity of online banking is reflected in the 2.2 million customers now registered to conduct their banking business online – a 27.8pc increase between 2007 and 2008.

“Online banking is facilitating the migration from cheques and other paper-based payment methods to electronic payments,” said Una Dillon, IPSO’s head of card services and Communications.

“The move to electronic payments is vital in ensuring Ireland’s competitiveness and efficiency within the wider European market, and is a key objective of the National Payments Programme, which is supported by the Department of Finance,” Dillon added.

The increase is consistently strong, with 100,000 new customers having registered in each of the past eight quarters to the end of 2008.

The increase in usage over the same period is even more pronounced, with a 31.6pc rise in the number of online payments to 30.7 million – equivalent to 84,000 per day; while a 33.6pc increase to 123 million was recorded in the number of times customers accessed their account balances online.

“We can see from the data compiled to date that online banking is on a significant growth path in Ireland,” said IBF Chief Executive, Pat Farrell.

“Comparative figures for 2007 show that the average user here made 14pc more online payments and 20pc more online enquiries than his/her UK counterpart.

“However, in a leading online adopter such as Norway, the average customer made around three times more payments online – indicating that there is considerable scope for further growth. 

“A range of financial institutions here provide a wide choice of online banking services to facilitate this growth, and are continuing to invest in and expand the range of services available,” Farrell said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years