Online banking use in the Benelux - Statistics & Facts

Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg all reached an above-average online banking penetration in 2018, with the Netherlands especially ranking among the European countries which used digital banking the most. This data comes from a European-wide survey, aimed at providing comparable data across multiple countries. When it comes to online banking figures on a local level, however, research becomes more complicated and less comparable. Take, for example, how many people use internet banking. Belgian data suggests there were 13 million people who logged in through an online banking environment in 2018, whereas data from the Netherlands does not mention user numbers but the number of transactions initiated online. Luxembourg, due to the country's small size, has relatively little data going for this topic. Despite these pitfalls, there are some characteristics than can be taken on the use of online banking in the three countries.

Belgium has one of Europe's highest number of bank branches per 100,000 adults, but Belgian consumers are increasingly using online banking solutions. Women in the country, for example, reaching similar penetration rates to their male counterparts in 2018, whereas differences were much bigger in 2010. Domestic sources are not sure, though, whether the increasing use of digital banking will directly lead to more digital payments. The number of cash withdrawals in Belgium did continue to decline in 2018, reaching a volume of roughly 265 million that year, and survey results from 2019 suggest that Belgian respondents will make less use of cash money in the future. However, that same survey suggests that cash money would still be the most used payment method in Belgium come 2023. This suggests that Belgian consumers are increasingly buying into digital banking, but less into digital payments.

Due to combined efforts from all banks in the country, the Netherlands is the Benelux-country that uses online banking the most. Not only this, Dutch consumers also reported a low frequency of payment card or online banking fraud and a high consumer rating of the online banking services they used. Additionally, results from surveys held between 2015 and 2019 suggest that the vast majority of consumers in the Netherlands used internet banking or banking apps to monitor their income and expenditure. All these things could be reasons why online banking apps are very popular in the Netherlands: each of the apps of ING, Rabobank and ABN AMRO were all downloaded more than 500,000 times in 2019. That year, the mobile banking solutions of these three banks had more downloads than seven other online banking solutions in the Netherlands. To compare, online challenger bank bunq reached roughly 125,000 downloads in 2019.

As stated above, (recent) figures for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg are difficult to find due to the country's small size. European surveys do not always include this country, and there seems to be little domestic research. The data that is available, however, suggests that the use of mobile banking grew in recent years. In 2018, smartphones were the preferred device for bank customers in Luxembourg to check their balance balance. Smartphones outperformed tablets, computers and laptops, which together reached a penetration of 26 percent that year. However, the Grand Duchy was still relatively new to mobile banking as one out of three consumers made use of it. The main reason why mobile banking was not that popular in Luxembourg, according to respondents in a 2016 survey, was not because of security issues. Instead, respondents indicated back then they simply did not see any benefits.

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Online banking in the Benelux

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App users Netherlands

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