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Online banking proves popular with Expats

03 January 2008 / by None
Internet banking is gaining in popularity with expats after a survey revealed that nine out of ten use internet banking however only a third is opting to open an offshore savings account.

According to the research by Alliance and Leicester, more expats than ever before are turning to the web to manage their finances and 92 per cent use online banking to keep their finances in check.

And with more than half of households around the EU accessing the web at home, people living abroad are finding it easier than ever to keep abreast of their family and friends' activities overseas.

However, although there is a high proportion of expats using the internet for banking, only a third are using it to access an offshore savings account meaning that 70 per cent of expats are missing out on the benefits of saving offshore.

Traditionally, offshore accounts have been a useful tool for those living away from their native country and benefits include access to higher than average rates of return, a facility to hold or send funds in a range of currencies other than Sterling and a tax system which enables the account holder to plan their affairs in a way that is relevant to their country of residence.

In addition, 41 per cent of Expats cited the main benefits of banking online as being the accessibility of the service and a further 26 per cent said they logged on to access the better rates available on the web.

Simon Hull, Managing Director of Alliance and Leicester International comments: "With internet access now so readily available, offshore consumers should take advantage of internet banking and saving. As well as offering speedy transfers and an up-to-date snapshot of your finances, the offshore banking and savings market is quickly developing many of the online facilities already available from its onshore counterparts."

The research also found that 70 per cent of expats look for an account offering online capabilities when it comes to selecting an offshore savings provider and while internet usage for 2007 is up five percent on 2006 figures, it is the North Europeans that are the most internet savvy with Iceland being the most frequent users of the net compared to 25 per cent of Greeks.

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