Ireland leads the way in Europe with digital banking, says new research

14 Jul 2022

Image: © tippapatt/

Okta said Ireland could emerge as Europe’s leader in the roll-out of digital services, with 40pc of those surveyed using a digital bank.

Ireland is far ahead of other European countries in embracing digital banking, though many of its citizens are unsure about digital IDs, according to new research by Okta.

The research suggests that 40pc of Irish consumers currently hold an account with a digital challenger bank such Revolut. This figure rises to 50pc for those between the ages of 18 and 29.

This is more than double the figure of other European countries surveyed. In the UK, 17pc of consumers said they have a digital challenger bank account, while the figure was 13pc for Spain and 6pc for the Netherlands.

Okta said factors over the past two years have accelerated the drive towards digital services, from fintech to the public sector. In Ireland, 75pc of those surveyed admitted to interacting with financial services more digitally than physically over the past year.

More than 40pc said this was due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while 33pc said they found it more convenient. The uptake appears to be here to stay, with 32pc being more trusting of digital financial services.

“It’s evident that Irish citizens see the benefits of digital financial services; they regard it as easier and more convenient,” said Ian Lowe, Okta’s EMEA head of industry solutions. “Ireland could emerge as Europe’s leader in the roll-out of digital services.”

Digital ID distrust

Despite the embrace of digital banking, 72pc of those surveyed in Ireland feel their data wouldn’t be protected in a digital ID, while nearly half would prefer a physical ID to a digital one.

However, 42pc said they trust the Government’s digital services such as websites and log-in portals for public sector services. This is a greater percentage than in other European countries such as Germany, France and the UK.

Irish citizens are also more supportive of GDPR than any other surveyed country, with 69pc backing the EU data protection law. Nearly 80pc said this is because they feel governments, states and institutions should be responsible for data privacy initiatives.

“Despite confusion over the benefits of digital IDs, the vast majority of Irish consumers feel that the State should be responsible for data initiatives, which highlights a big disconnect between the two,” Lowe said.

“Governments and organisations have a key role to play in demonstrating the privacy and safety of these initiatives in order to win over the trust of the public and pioneer the move towards digitisation.”

The research was commissioned by Okta and carried out by Statista. The survey sample size was 12,010 and included results from Ireland, the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Italy and Switzerland.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic