Latvian residents among most active online banking users in the EU

Residents of Latvia are more active online banking users than most European Union residents – 81% of residents in Latvia use online banking services, compared to the EU’s average of 57%, reports LETA.

For the second year in a row, Latvia is in sixth place in its region.

Only the residents of Scandinavia and Estonia are more active users of online banking services, according to the European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).

“Compared to other countries, Latvia stands out with quality online banking services, which are even more functional than in some of the leading countries in the index – Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands.

Online banking services help reduce budget spending and also contribute to the development of several national economy sectors. For instance, the IT sector has been a success story – companies that were developing online banking services in Latvia now export these services with high added value,”

the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks President Martins Bicevskis said.

The actual number of online banking users in Latvia is even higher – 97% of bank customers use online banking to perform various payments online, and just 3% prefer to visit banks in person for the purpose – down from 46% in 2005, 10% in 2010, and 5% in 2013. All banks operating in Latvia offer their customers online banking services.

“Use of the Internet is becoming increasingly more active, as people use it for their everyday needs. Therefore use of online and mobile banking has also been growing – according to the index, the number of online banking users in Latvia has increased 6% in one year.

In addition, the scope of financial services available online continues to expand, and increasingly more people use these services,”

commented Swedbank Digital Services Department’s head Diana Dubova.

In terms of public services available online, Latvia is ranked 14th in the EU – four places up from last year.

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