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E-banking - implications to the development of banking in poland




E-banking is part of a new economy in a new world. It consists in offering banking services via a new distribution channel - the Internet. The Internet is not likely, however, to totally replace the traditional distribution channels; it will not become the only method of providing financial services. Clients, even those in favour of the Internet, treat it as one of many options of using banking services.


The first steps in the development of e-banking in Poland were taken in the early 90s when first ATMs were installed and first cards were issued. The development of on-line banks may be likened to the development of credit and debit cards in Poland when during the launch of the cards back in 1991 no one thought they would become a popular payment method. At the time they were treated as a luxurious complement to a wallet that only a few could afford. At the end of 2000 cards are a widespread payment method used by nearly a quarter of Poland's population. Similar things are likely to happen to on-line banks and other instruments of e-banking.


The future development of e-banking may be limited, however, by an array of constraints: an important barrier to the development of this form of provision of banking services is the security barrier. Services provided by banks through new channels of distribution should contain security mechanisms not allowing unauthorised individuals to perform account transactions, protecting orders placed against distortion during transmission and not allowing the client to renounce concluded transactions Another barrier to the development of e-banking in Poland is the lack of customers' trust in banks, and even more so in Internet banks. Also, quality is a constraint as it is related to the utilisation of technical infrastructure. It is believed that this is not the major impediment to the development of e-banking, though. Another barrier is the availability, connected with the population's affluence. Furthermore, the development of e-banking may be limited by profitability which is related to high costs connected with its implementation - to banks - and utilisation - to customers. A certain impediment to the development of e-banking is also the lack of detailed legal regulations protecting the interests of e-banking users, and consequently increasing the security of concluded operations.


At the turn of the 20th and the 21st century, when time is one of the most demanded commodities, e-banking may become an answer to bank customers' needs. Its core advantage is quick and comfortable conclusion of operations, without leaving one's home or office. As of today, it is to a large extent embraced by young and educated people, open to novelties, however, as time passes, it stands a chance of becoming a deep-rooted method of providing banking services