RealTime IT News

Online Banking Up in Israel

According to Israeli Banks supervisor Dr. Tzvi Tal, Israeli use of online banking services increased by over 50 percent since the last quarter of 1998.

Eleven Israeli banks are now authorized to render online banking services, reported Dr. Tal, who was speaking at a one-day conference on Internet Banking held last week in Tel Aviv.

Three of the banks have been authorized to provide customer information only. The remaining eight banks provide banking activities, such as buying securities, but do not allow bill payments or bank-to-bank transfers.

Dr. Tal also stated that increased access to more Internet banking services also brings the possibility for hackers to break into bank databases and customer computer systems. Tal added that, within the next few months, he would assess other online banking services such as bill paying and bank-to-bank transfers.

Idit Luski, manager of direct banking for Bank Ha'poalim, one of Israel's largest banks, states that the banks are ready to provide a wide range of additional online services.

Luski said that there is a need for greater flexibility in bank authorization policies. According to Luski, the Internet presents a great challenge to the banking system and that online customers perform more transactions than conventional customers.

Luski forecasts a trend toward personalized banking services reinforced by integration with direct phone banking. She stresses that there will be no additional charges for online services.

Dr. Tal claimed that 76,000 Israeli Net surfers used the online services during the first quarter of 1999, up from 50,000 surfers at the end of 1998.