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Kristine Aghalaryan

Online Banking Little Used In Armenia: Some Banks Face Security Issues

Despite being introduced a few years ago, online banking services aren’t used much in Armenia.

According to an AmeriaBank study, debated today in Yerevan, only 1.3% of the country’s populace used such services in 2013; 2% in 2014.

In comparison, 91% of people in Iceland, which leads the world in terms of online banking, use such services.

AmeriaBank reports that 17.5% of its corporate clients have ever used its online banking services.

People in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, utilize online banking much more than people in the country’s smaller cities.

While today’s panel of experts argued that the use of online banking has paralleled the growth of smart phone use, only half of the 29% of the population using smart phones have used such services.

Mihran Mouradyan, who heads the retail services division of HSBC bank, argues that the future of banking will lie in the greater use of digital technologies. He gave the example of Singapore where retail branches general have no personnel at all. They’re all digitally operated. Mouradyan said that HSBC will be investing in such technologies for its clients.

Samvel Martirosyan, an independent expert on online banking security matters, said that studies show that five banks in Armenia have serious security problems. He failed to name these banks.

Martirosyan, however, argued that Armenia is too insignificant to be of interest to international hackers. As the banking sector grows, so too will the risk, he concluded.

Martirosyan also faulted banks in Armenia for not making online banking easy and understandable, noting that one has to be an accountant to fathom the data presented.

“Banks approach online banking incorrectly and not from a consumer’s perspective,” he said.