The use of Internet banking in South Korea accelerated in the first quarter from three months earlier as more people conducted financial transactions online, the central bank said Thursday.
Online banking transactions reached an average of 45.23 million per day in the January-March period, up 9.5 percent from the previous quarter, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The first-quarter data also showed a daily average of 33.18 trillion won (US$28.43 billion) being sent online, a gain of 0.5 percent compared to the fourth quarter.
The growth rate for transaction numbers in the cited three months quickened from 6.7 percent gains tallied for October-December, but the value of daily transactions decelerated from 3 percent.
The data is based on users checking financial records, transferring funds or taking out loans via the Internet.
The number of Internet banking subscribers registered with the 19 local financial firms rose 7.1 percent on-quarter to 80.15 million as of the end of March.
The majority of transactions were conducted via computers, but the weight of mobile banking, or banking services accessed via wireless handsets, has been on the rise.
Nearly nine out of 10 households in South Korea have access to cheap broadband Internet. The nation’s computer penetration rate is among the highest in the world while the number of phones capable of conducting banking transactions has also been on the rise.
Mobile banking transactions made up 24.3 percent of total Internet banking use, up from 22.1 percent three months earlier. The value of such transactions climbed 10.4 percent on-quarter to a daily average of 827.8 billion won, the BOK said.
Mobile banking via smartphones, a service that was introduced in December 2009, showed sustained growth on the back of the devices’ popularity. Transactions on smartphones reached 10.45 million per day and were valued at 688.8 billion won in the first quarter.