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‘Too little e-banking’

rhondathompson, [email protected]

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INTERNET BANKING services are underutilised in the Caribbean, according to findings from a recent study.Dr Justin Robinson, head of the Department of Management Studies, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, and economics lecturer Dr Winston Moore have found that only about 30 per cent of 4 000 individuals sampled in ten Caribbean countries had used such services.Speaking on Wednesday during a breakfast presentation hosted by UWI in collaboration with FirstCaribbean International Bank at The Mount Restaurant, Cave Hill, Robinson said the rate varied from 39 per cent in Antigua to 15 per cent in Grenada.The study, which was conducted between December 2008 and January 2009, also found that 31 per cent of Barbadians used such services.Discussing his study on Customer Attitudes and Preference in Relation to Internet Banking in the Caribbean, Robinson said smaller economies like Antigua and St Kitts surprisingly had higher user levels than Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.“Overall, the majority of usage is to enquire about a balance,” he said, noting that this was primarily the reason Antiguans used the service.However, people in Barbados and Jamaica tended to use it to pay bills.“In Grenada, which had the lowest level of usage, had the highest number of people actually transferring money between accounts,” Robinson said. These users are “high net-worth individuals doing sophisticated transactions”, he pointed out.According to the academic, “Numbers compare reasonably favourably with developing countries but [are] significantly below places like Canada where the usage is closer to 75 per cent.” (NB)