Internet banking to take over offline banking - IDC

Offline banking may soon be a thing of the past with more and more countries preferring to transact online.IDC's Financial Insights sees an increase on Internet banking usage across nine countries in Asia Pacific, namely Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Offline banking may soon be a thing of the past with more and more countries preferring to transact online.

IDC's Financial Insights sees an increase on Internet banking usage across nine countries in Asia Pacific, namely Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

"Growth in Internet banking usage has not abated, and it shows no signs of doing so," said Douglas Jaffe, senior research manager for Financial Services for Financial Insights Asia/Pacific.

"This will create a future retail banking landscape that looks decidedly different from that of today," he added.

The report forecasts that "with the move to self-service channels like the Web, banks will be challenged to remain relevant to the online customer. More importantly, they will find themselves in a position where the bulk of their costs are tied up in offline channels that service a shrinking customer base."

Jaffe said that when more affluent and educated customers move to online transactions, "a bank's most expensive channels could end up servicing a majority of its least profitable customers."

"How banks evolve the branch to adapt to these new realities will be a major factor in their ability to compete going forward," adds Jaffe.

More and more countries now have online banking population in millions, with Singapore boasting over a million active Internet banking customers, and Korea with 16 million.

India and China are also seen as potential countries which will see Internet banking users numbering in the tens of millions in the future.