|The processing of banking transactions through the electronic way is gradually becoming more popular among Greek consumers, although Greece in terms of e-banking is far from the so-called "mature" markets of the EU. The positive reception reserved by Greek consumers in e-banking , has escaped the attention of the banks themselves, which, not only have invested heavily in this sector, but continue, in the midst of a crisis, to strengthen their movements in the field of electronic banking. Next step for banks and consumers is the evolution of the mobile phone, but also of the tablets, into a digital wallet, through the so-called contactless transactions, on which developments from the autumn should be expected.|
Already, the performance of Greek banks in the field of electronic banking to date is anything but negligible, a fact that was confirmed by data presented recently at the Digital Banking Money Conference organized by Ethos Media.
An example is the National Bank, which sees users of i-banking Internet and Phone Banking services growing at an annual rate of 20%, having already reached 600,000 registered users. In addition, 35,000 smartphone owners have "downloaded" the i-bank Mobile Banking application, while a total of approximately 45 million transactions worth 19 billion euros have been made through digital channels.
According to what was mentioned at the conference by Mr. George Kametas, special transaction banking associate of the National Bank group, and the experience from the operation of i-bank stores is extremely encouraging with more than 1 million visits in the first two years of operation, fifteen times number of internet banking activations, more than 17,000 members in the i-bank store club.
EMPHASIS ON CONTACTS
The pioneer in electronic banking for the Greek market is Eurobank, which, in cooperation with Mastercard, has launched cards, through which contactless transactions are possible. In fact, the Bank is preparing to start issuing corresponding credit cards in September, in cooperation with Visa, while in May it launched the first mini Mastercard credit cards for contactless transactions that are placed on the back of a mobile phone.
According to what the Deputy General Manager of Eurobank Mr. Tassos Panousis stated at the conference, today in the Greek market there are 45,000 contactless transaction cards in circulation, aiming to reach 80,000 by the end of 2013.
These cards can be used in 1,000 terminals in large urban centers, a number which, by the end of the year, can reach 3,000 terminals.
Eurobank's goal is to penetrate markets, where to date the use of cash, such as tolls, kiosks, cafes and public transport, dominates.
Contactless payments, currently made in 51 countries worldwide and in 27 European countries, involve card payments, no longer requiring the placement of plastic in the terminal to complete the transaction, with the turnover of contactless transactions increasing by 400% in one year.
We remind you that with the contactless transactions it is enough for the trader to approach his card near the terminal and the transaction is completed in just 5 seconds, while with the "traditional" payment cards a transaction is completed in about 27 seconds.
The advantages include the greater convenience for transactions that are currently done with "small", time savings and especially the reduction of cash management costs (this cost is equal to 2.5% of the total turnover of traders).
Citi, whose online customers already number around 200,000, is also claiming to expand its presence in the domestic e-banking market. The five e-Corners, already operating in Athens and Thessaloniki, operate as a "pilot" for Citi's more active presence in e-banking. E-Corners are state-of-the-art workplaces created by Citibank in its stores, following the "shop-in-shop" logic. In the first ten months of their operation, e-Corners have conducted 10,000 customer trainings, while about 8,000 registrations have been made in Citi e-banking services. The goal is to increase the number to 1,000 per month, while the bank plans to expand the network of e-Corners gradually and depending on the interest that will be expressed.
Today, out of the bank's 700,000 customers in the Greek market, one third are enrolled in online services. In fact, Citi e-banking users in Greece are four times more than three years ago (of which 72% are men and 28% are women).
The most popular transactions through e-banking are money transfers, balance checks, bill payments and credit card payments.
Research on the use of e-banking services
According to a survey conducted by Pollfish - which, however, was done on a small sample of 300 smartphone users - 1 in 2 said they use e-banking services. The main use is to update and pay bills, while 8 out of 10 answered that they make less than 10 transactions per month.
The 90% of those who use e-banking services stated that they are satisfied, while the 70% of those who do not use it stated that they are not interested in using it in the future. Mobile banking services use only 3 in 10 surveyed and only 1 in 10 of this 30% makes more than 10 transactions per month. However, the 80% of those who use such services said they were satisfied with their experience.