E-administration in Hungary

08. 03. 2016.

Hungarian Internet users prefer to take care of their administrative matters online. In fact, this is the channel that they use most frequently for such cases. Nevertheless, personal and telephone-based administration still lingers in their everyday lives. While computers remain the primary platform in online administrative matters, smartphones are coming up strong: three out of 10 Internet users employ their mobile phones for such purposes as well, both through a browser and dedicated apps, the latest iteration in eNET-Telekom’s research series “Report on the Internet Economy”, focusing on online administrative practices, reveals.

Let’s do it online…

Internet users prefer the online channel to personal visits and phone calls when taking care of administrative matters. Interestingly enough, they like personal visits better than using the phone.

According to eNET’s online survey conducted in February 2016, 43% of adult Hungarian Internet users take care of their administrative matters online if they can (and another 20% prefer this channel to other methods); only 10% avoid this method if possible. Personal visits are clearly preferred by two out of 10 Internet users, while just one out of 10 chooses the telephone.

Most people do it personally, but the online channel is used most frequently

The presence of online administration in the everyday lives of Internet users in Hungary is almost equal to that of the other two traditional channels: 97% of those who take care administrative cases in any way do so personally, 93% by phone, and 92% online. But the frequency of using the individual channels varies, and online administration is used more frequently than the phone-based or personal method. Consequently, even though personal visits dominate in terms of ratio, they are overtaken by online administration in view of their frequency.

But what is actually done online?

Banking is the most widely used of the eight areas of administrative activities engaged in by adult Hungarian Internet users. 74% do online banking: regularly check their account balance, launch money transfers, or effect other financial transactions over the Internet. Every second Internet user (45-50%) complains about services, pays invoices, and reports utility meter values online, checking balances with public utility and service providers. Four out of 10 conclude insurance online, and three submit their tax returns over the Internet. Less than 30% administer school matters in that way. 

With browser and apps

Desktop computers and notebooks remain the primary tools for online administration: half of all Internet users resort to them. However, smartphones are gaining ground as three out of 10 Internet users (33%) employ their mobile phones for administrative purposes as well.

Almost all people who take care of their administrative matters online  do so through computer browsers (93%), while 36% use mobile applications (as well). Browser usage dominates on desktop and portable computers, but apps are now nearly same popular on smartphones as browsers: 23% of the people who take care of administrative matters online use browsers, and 25% applications.

Safety first

Whether users go online through a browser or an application, the safety of their personal data is of primary concern. Constant availability and easy usability are further important expectations, along with immediate feedback about any problem arising during the process. It is deemed less important that the service provider should also offer help by phone in addition to the online interface. Finally, a visually attractive interface is not considered very important, finishing fifth among the six factors.

More online administration expected

Internet users like and actively use the online platform in effecting their daily administrative matters, but these practices are expected to become even more wide-spread. About 20-25% of Internet users expect to take up online administration in future. This trend is attributable to more and improved online administration options offered by service providers, as well as to practical applications that are very useful in our daily lives.

eNET – Telekom