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Irish above EU average for online banking but lowest for news


Browsing, chatting, online shopping, it seems that we are spending more and more of our time online.

But just what are we using the internet for, and how does Ireland's usage compare with our European Union counterparts?

In 2016, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Estonia had the highest shares of internet users who used internet banking, with nine in 10 people in these countries using internet banking last year, according to the latest data from Eurostat.

At the opposite end of the scale, countries in the EU which recorded the lowest use of internet banking were Bulgaria and Romania, where less than one in 10 internet users used internet banking in 2016.

Greece has the third-lowest usage, with fewer than one in three internet users using internet banking last year.

Ireland meanwhile came in above the EU average of 59pc, with just over six in 10 of us using internet banking in 2016.

The news comes just weeks after AIB became the latest bank to introduce Apple Pay, the digital payment method that uses an iPhone as a contactless payment system.

The move means that Bank Of Ireland is the only major bank not to have a mobile payment technology option for customers in Ireland.

It seems that internet banking usage is spread across all age groups. Among people under the age of 24, four in ten internet users were using online banking, while just over one in two internet users between the age of 65 and 74 were engaging in internet banking across the EU in 2016.

On average, 70pc of people read news online in the EU during 2016. The highest number was recorded in Lithuania and Croatia, with 93pc and 91pc of internet users reading news online in the two countries.

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Ireland had the lowest number of people reading news online at 49pc, followed by France where just over one in two internet users were reading the news online last year.

The internet is also becoming more relevant for people booking holiday accommodation. In 2016, one in two EU citizens said that they booked their holiday accommodation or travel via the internet, which will be of concern to travel agents that continue to have a physical main street presence.

In Ireland, 51pc of internet users said that they booked their holiday accommodation or travel via the internet, just above the EU average.

Interestingly booking holiday accommodation or travel via the internet was more common among older internet users aged 65 to 74 years in the EU (49pc) than among younger users aged 16 to 24 years (40pc).

Over the last five years, the share of internet users making phone or video calls via the internet increased by 10 percentage points, to 39pc in 2016, from 29pc in 2011.

The average number of internet users using social media also increased ten percentage points in the five years to 63pc in 2016 from 53pc in 2011.

Only four in ten Irish internet users were making online telephone and video calls, slightly above the EU average, while seven in ten internet users in Ireland were participating in social networks, such as Facebook, again above the EU average.

In terms of watching video online, just over one in two Irish internet users watched video online in 2016, below the EU average of 62pc.

Internet users in Denmark and Luxembourg were watching the most videos online, while Romania had fewest internet users watching video online, at 26pc.

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