Online banking in the UK will reach its tenth anniversary this week, with the country's first internet banking service launched by Nationwide on 27 May 1997.

Since around 13,000 people registered for Nationwide's online banking service in 1997, online banking has grown rapidly - the company now has more than 3m internet banking customers.

Online banking has become increasingly popular over the last decade, with the number of people using the service rising five fold over the last six years.

Online banking stats:

  • In 2006, 18.1m  Britons banked online, with the number exceeding those using telephone banking. Today, half of all internet users in the UK bank online.
  • 53% of internet bank users bank online because they believe it is convenient, while 11% say they use internet banking because they can’t always get to a branch.
  • Half of users (49%) log on to their internet banks to manage these accounts after 6pm in the evening with just under a third (31%) logging on during the day (8am - 6pm).
  • Internet banking is regularly used by 37% of adults in the UK,

There are concerns about the safety of online banking, with fraud on the rise recently. This issue is a reason why many more don't bank online - just 31% of those who don't bank online perceive it as 'safe', compared with 86% of internet bank users.

Banks are working on improving security though, with PIN card readers being sent out to customers to add more security to their transactions.

Graham Charlton

Published 23 May, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (1)


Yogesh Raja, Managing Director at Visual Security international Limited

To deter fraud we have these two options.

1. Stop fraudsters from obtaining our personal details, stolen and skimmed cards and PIN numbers. It is obvious that it is virtually impossible for us to stop fraudsters from obtaining these details. This shows why our bad problems will continue to get worse because we are relying on this bad system to deter fraud.

2. Make signature and PIN number systems reliable as proposed via use of ID KEY system described on website .This system will make

a. Signatures reliable by enabling us to personalise them with ID stickers (small sticker with person’s photo and name printed on it). This system will deter fraudsters because in the event of crime their identity will get exposed on the document in question.

b. ATM transactions reliable by making Card Key Code activate ATMs. This will deter fraudsters from getting tempted to use stolen and skimmed cards to do ATM fraud.

*This shows that unless the government and banks support and implement universal honesty restoring ID KEY system fraud crimes will continue to grow like wild forest fires in every sector of the industry.

about 11 years ago

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