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E-banking is booming in the Middle East

Adoption of e-banking offerings is faster among the region's Internet users than it among US Internet users, according to a report from Pyramid Research.

E-banking in the Middle East is being taken up faster than in the US, according to research from Pyramid, a division of the Economist Intelligence Unit. The study found that although only 18 of the region’s largest banks are offering e-banking, adoption rates are higher than in the US in several countries in the region.

The study found that 29% of Internet users in Kuwait, and 21% in the UAE has signed up for online banking, compared to just 17% in the US. Bahrain also had 17% adoption, with 14% of Middle East internet users overall registered for e-banking.

The research indicated that it is the largest banks that are offering e-banking so far. 18% of banks were offering online transactions, a further 43% have informational websites, leaving 39% yet to go online. The banks with transactional capabilities have an average asset value of $8.3 billion, compared to $4.2 billion for those without.

There is concern among some observers that if Middle East banks do not start offering services then they will lose custom to the west.

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