Report on the internet economy. In focus: The financial sector IV. 2002

2002. 12. 17.

In association with Westel Mobile Telecommunications Co. and Sun Microsystems Hungary, GKI Economic Research Co. conducts quarterly surveys on corporate internet usage and the development of the electronic economy in Hungary. The present report outlines the financial sector’s position in the internet economy.


* In the fourth quarter of 2002 the GKI-Westel E-Finance Index was at 20.5, which reflects optimism among financial service providers.
* On December 31, 2002, banks had 235 thousand personal online customers and 32 thousand corporate online customers.
* 18% of internet users in Hungary take advantage of internet banking services, compared with the European average of 37%.
* On December 31, 2002, 259 thousand non-corporate and 36 thousand corporate clients used mobile banking services.


In the fourth quarter of 2002 the GKI-Westel E-Finance Index was at 20.5, which reflects a slight drop from the previous quarter but still indicates that financial service providers are optimistic regarding the potential of electronic services.


Numerous banks – particularly larger ones – are providing services via all three electronic channels (internet, telephone, mobile phone) to both households and businesses. Additional credit institutions are about to launch electronic services over the course of the next twelve months. Three of the responding banks plan to offer internet banking services, while two banks intend to launch SMS-based services with another two planning WAP-based banking services. For the time being, WAP-based services are the least commonly used, and many banks are not considering the use of this technology even in their long-term planning.

In the medium term, two other banks have plans to launch online checking account services and five banks are thinking about offering WAP-based banking services.

Only a few banks offer (or plan to offer) online securities transactions, and based on the expectations of banks, the option of online credit applications will get underway only slowly and gradually.

Online banking customers

On December 31, 2002, banks offering checking account services had  235 thousand personal internet banking customers, reflecting a 14% increase over the period of three months and a 64% rise year-on-year. At the same time, the number of corporate online customers was 32 thousand, up 4% from the previous quarter and 89% from a year earlier.

According to the 2003 forecast of GKI Economic Research Co., the number of online banking customers could increase by 37% in the household segment and by 62% in the corporate segment.


In Europe, over 60 million people, 37% of all internet users, take advantage of internet banking services. The 235 thousand online banking customers in the household segment in Hungary make up 18.5% of all internet users (1.27 million).

Mobile banking customers

On December 31, 2002, 259 thousand individuals and 36 thousand businesses had  mobile banking contracts. These figures reflect growth rates of 21% and 35%, respectively, from the previous quarter and 74% and 92%, respectively, year-on-year.

GKI Co. predicts that in 2003 the number of personal and corporate online banking customers could increase by another 70% and 60%, respectively.



The survey was conducted over the period of January and February 2003, covering all credit institutions and insurance companies. The survey was highly representative: banks were represented at 80% in terms of total assets,  and insurance companies were represented at 87% in terms of premium revenues.