The use of Internet banking in South Korea rose 6.3 percent in the first quarter from three months earlier as more people conducted financial transactions online, the central bank said Tuesday.
Online banking transactions reached an average of 38.7 million per day in the January-March period, compared with 36.4 million the previous quarter, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The data is based on users checking financial records, transferring funds or taking out loans via the Internet.
The total value of Internet banking transactions came to 31.5 trillion won ($29.4 billion) per day, up 1.1 percent from three months earlier, the BOK added.
The number of Internet banking subscribers registered with 19 local financial firms climbed 3.8 percent on-quarter to 69.1 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.
Transactions based on mobile banking accounted for 17.4 percent of total Internet banking use, up from 12.8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. The value of such transactions jumped 23.4 percent on-quarter to a daily average of 586.5 billion won, the BOK said.
Mobile banking via smartphones, a service that was introduced in December 2009, showed continued growth on the back of the devices’ popularity. The number of transactions based on smartphones reached 3.9 million last quarter, for a total value of 218 billion won, up 79.5 percent from the preceding quarter.
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.