Internet Banking Grows In Jamaica


The largest commercial banks in Jamaica, the third largest island in the Caribbean, are reporting a significant growth in the number of customers who are using internet banking, a free service.

The trend suggests a direct response to banks’ increasing service charges, which represent billions in annual revenues for the two largest commercial banks in that country – Scotiabank and National Commercial Bank (NCB).

Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica (BNS), which upgraded its internet banking service in the first quarter of this year, has is already reporting a 25% jump in the use of internet banking – only halfway through year. Some 37,000, or 10%, of its active customers use ScotiaBank’s internet banking service. BNS is Jamaica’s largest bank in terms of deposits.

NCB, the largest bank in terms of assets, is reporting that internet banking represented 46% of all transactions in May of this year, up from 42% in January.

Together, BNS and NCB control 70% of Jamaica’s commercial banking market.

Logically, as more people in Jamaica get access to Internet, more are using it as their primary way of banking. It is the easiest of all banking channels, even easier than telephone banking.

There are also savings to be realized by those who bank online in Jamaica. Those who utilize internet banking save on fees that they would normally pay for transactions within a branch, bill-payment charges and most importantly, they save on time. They also have the added convenience of being able to do their banking anywhere, any time.

Internet Banking Is Booming


Once a niche market, internet banking has grown into a widely-used tool for the average consumer.

Among 3,988 adults surveyed in the U.S. by Gartner Group, 47% said they now use Internet banking. In the U.K, 30% said the same.

Results tended to vary according to income. Gartner found that over half of all consumers earning more than $30,000 in the U.S. and ?15,000  in the U.K., use Internet banking. Among lower-income households, 25% in America and 17% in the U.K. use internet banking. Via internet banking, you can get a credit card with bad credit.

Over the past several years, online banking has been seen as a way of appealing to more affluent and younger clients,” said David Schehr, Gartner research director. “However, what is becoming clear is that the overall level of consumer Internet use and the increasingly narrow segment of nonusers–particularly in the U.S.–are shifting the dynamics of who is using online banking and what they seek from it.

Among people who don’t utilize Internet banking, no one single reason was cited above all others, noted Gartner. Around 61% of U.S. households and 58% of those in the U.K. said they simply prefer to use other methods. However, 41% of U.S. consumers and 38% in the U.K. blamed security as the most important reason for not banking over the Internet.

Gartner conducted its survey in December 2008 and January 2009 and questioned people 18 years and older.

According to another report from research firm Forrester, the effect of bill consolidation sites, such as Yodlee and Corillian, was noted. With these sites, consumers can manage and pay all their bills directly online and independent of banks. according to Forrester, such sites are starting to woo more people from the banks’ own bill payment sites, and will own a greater share of the market by 2012. Thus, banks will need to do a better job spreading the word about their own online services.

eBusiness executives at banks need to work to establish earlier and stronger bill payment relationships with young affluents and other young adults,” said Forrester senior analyst Edward Kountz. “To strengthen their position and better support these customers, banks need to add more payment options, deploy online and mobile alerts with greater visibility, and continue to hammer home the message that online bill payment is free.

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Chinese Consumers Reluctant To Embrace Internet Banking


According to a recent survey by Chinese marketing and business information services provider iResearch, concerns caused by the prospect of falling victim to identity theft has caused 28% of Chinese consumers to cut back on their use of Internet banking and online payment activities.

According to the survey, 3% of Internet banking users indicated they have given up online banking activities or are planning to do so in order to protect their identity. The research also polled potential Internet banking users, 58% of whom stated they have decided to postpone their intentions of taking up internet banking for personal financial management, while almost 25% of interviewees state they have actually decided to give up on their intentions completely. Moreover, 63% of polled consumers said they are currently exercising more caution regarding the financial activities they carry out online, this in order to avoid identity theft.