Three quarters of UAE residents prefer online banking

The majority only visit branches up to two times a year, new poll finds

Emirates NBD and other Dubai lenders will help customers manage their finances during the coronavirus crisis and its economic impact. Satish Kumar / The National
Emirates NBD and other Dubai lenders will help customers manage their finances during the coronavirus crisis and its economic impact. Satish Kumar / The National

Seventy-six per cent of UAE residents prefer online banking over bank branch visits, according to a survey commissioned by Banker Middle East Industry Awards.

More than half of the 2,200 respondents only visit their bank up to two times a year and a quarter visit three to five times. Around 10 per cent go six to eight times and 14 per cent more than eight times. Of the respondents to the study conducted by New Perspective Media Group, 73 per cent are aged between 20 to 40.

“There is no denying that digitalisation is the future,” said Nigel Rodrigues, chief executive of CPI Financial, the organiser of the Banker Middle East Industry Awards taking place in November in Dubai. “Organisations that embrace rapid advances in technology, will meet and exceed the expectations of their customers and shareholders and deliver healthy returns.”

Online banking penetration has reached 92 per cent in UAE banks, according to S&P Global. Traditional banks are increasingly focusing on digital transformation and online-only banks are entering the fray. In July, Abu Dhabi Global Markets unveiled regulatory frameworks for digital banks and robo-advisers.

The top feature attracting 70 per cent of respondents to online banking is “24/7 availability,” followed by 57 per cent citing “convenience” and 55 per cent saying it is “easy to use”.

When asked about the security of online banking, 83 per cent of survey respondents said they felt banking apps and websites are secure.

Just under half of UAE consumers use online banking services for utility bill payments (49 per cent), while a similar figure log on for local money transfers. Meanwhile, 46 per cent use online banking to make credit card payments, and just over four in ten to make international money transfers. Only 36 per cent use the service to view bank statements.

The banking services UAE consumers use most are ATMs for 68 per cent of those polled, followed by online banking for 60 per cent. Just over a fifth of respondents use teller banking in the branch while 19 per cent use phone banking.

Published: September 23, 2019 05:02 PM

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