Different nations’ online banking habits: better safe than sorry?

Would you bank online without the protection of security software? If your answer is no, then you are in agreement with more than 77% of British internet users who make sure they have a security solution in place when using online financial services.

This is according to a survey conducted by ESET in four countries – the US, the UK, Germany and Russia – which found that Britain the most security-focused nation when it comes to online banking.

Lagging slightly behind, Americans were in second place, with almost 74% using security software when banking online, followed by 68.9% of Germans and 64.6% of Russians.

By contrast, one in every six Germans (17.4%) do not use any security software, compared to 13.9% of Russians, 13.7% of Americans and only 11.0% of Brits. Interestingly, more than a fifth of Russians (21.5%) weren’t sure if they had any security solution in place, contrasting with 13.7% of Germans, 12.5% of respondents in the US and 11.5% in the UK.

The different ways we use online banking

What varies widely between respondents in the four countries is how they tend to use online banking. Germans (64.0%) and Russians* most often use it to pay their electricity, rent or other bills.

In the US (56.5%) and the UK (50.7%) this is only a secondary function, after checking one’s account balance. 72.9% of Americans and 77.6% of British users who were polled chose the latter as their favorite option.

“The least-cited aim for online banking users in all four countries was personal financial management.”

The least-cited aim for online banking users in all four countries was personal financial management.

Looking at online banking usage, and perceptions of how secure online banking is (and there are threats to be aware of) internet users in Western nations are somewhat cautious when compared to those in Russia.

In this ranking, Germans emerge as the most conservative of the four nations surveyed, in terms of the numbers preferring not to use online financial services, followed by the US and the UK. By contrast, the survey data shows that Russians are the most common users of online banking among the polled nations.

*UK, US and DE respondents were allowed multiple choices; RUS respondents could choose only one.

Full statistics below:

What online banking services do you use most often?UKUSDE*RUS
Web-based Internet banking29.49%27.32%N/A%48.20%
Mobile banking apps29.26%26.75%N/A%23.80%
I don't use online banking services41.25%45.93%N/A%28.10%
Why do you use online banking services?UKUSDERUS
Pay bills50.69%56.54%64.00%37.80%
Check status of my bank accounts77.61%72.83%60.00%32.70%
Personal financial management40.73%32.07%34.80%29.50%
Do you have security software installed on the device you normally use for online banking?UKUSDERUS
I don't know11.53%12.49%13.70%21.50%
Behavior by Security SW usageYesNoI don't know
Pay bills77,21%10,42%12,37%
Check status of my bank accounts74,76%13,72%11,52%
Personal financial management76,32%14,64%9,03%
Behavior by Security SW usageYesNoI don't know
Pay bills81,59%10,11%8,30%
Check status of my bank accounts80,46%10,43%9,11%
Personal financial management82,00%10,48%7,52%
Behavior by Security SW usageYesNoI don't know
Pay bills72.84%17.59%9.57%
Check status of my bank accounts71.38%17.85%9.87%
Personal financial management71.67%16.15%12.18%


In the specific breakdown on how online banking is being used and about habits, we address only percentages from the group of online banking users.

The surveys were conducted during Q3 of 2015 on a demographically representative sample of at least 1,000 Internet users in each country. Surveys were conducted in the UK, US and Germany by Google Surveys, and in Russia by Merku.

Author , ESET

Follow us

Copyright © 2017 ESET, All Rights Reserved.