Online banking continues to click

Australians are taking to online banking faster than Americans and Europeans but behind Canadians, according to RedSheriff, Forrester Research and AMR Interactive. RedSheriff estimates that just over half of Australian Internet users use online banking. AMR puts the percentage at 63 per cent, compared to 46 per cent in the US, 37 per cent in Europe and 67 per cent in Canada.

The three research companies attribute Australians' liking for online banking to the nation's small banking sector, a more relaxed attitude to security, the banks' efforts to reduce costs and a good bill-paying system (BPay). The percentage of the population paying bills online has grown from 3 percent in 1999 to 23 per cent in 2002. Online banking is starting to seriously challenge in-branch banking. Internet transactions are now double those done in branches in some institutions.