ECONOMY

E-banking flourishes in Greece, at last

An ever increasing number of bank clients are using the alternative networks of banking products and services, with the number of people registered for electronic banking services expanding by 12 percent annually in the first half of last year.

A study conducted by the Hellenic Bank Association (HBA) on ?The Greek Banking System in 2010? revealed that over 1,929,800 people or legal entities were registered users of e-banking services in the first half of 2010, up from 1,719,800 in 2009.

The value of the transactions registered electronically, whether intrabank, interbank or security transactions, posted an annual increase of 8 percent, reaching 19.7 billion euros in H1 2010 from 18.3 billion euros on end-June 2009.

Greeks appear to have overcome their customary distrust of transactions that are not face-to-face, preferring instead to gain time and in certain cases money, too, as they are exempt from additional charges imposed when transaction are conducted at the counter.

The study also confirms that local banks continued in 2010 their significant and systematic effort to develop alternative networks of services, such as the use of cash machines, phone banking and e-banking.