Online banking in Germany has become a firmly established channel offered by virtually all
banks. It should be noted that this is true online banking, not just electronic bill payment with
bank selected merchants. The number of online banking clients is projected to increase further,
whereas the number of branches has decreased and will continue to do so in the future. But, there
is no doubt that branches will remain important for customers (Figure 20).
FIGURE 20 Online and Offline Trends in the German Banking Sector
On line banking users in Germany
On line users in Germany
Source: DB Research September 2002, with forecasts for 2003 to 2005.
In spite of the huge number of online banking users, German financial institutions, just as in
many other industrialized nations, have difficulties migrating their customers towards pure
online users. Multi channel approaches, therefore, will play an important role in banking even in
the future. This means an overall increase of costs instead of the expected cost reduction. This is
also valid for brokerages where the number of multi channel clients will grow faster than the
number of pure online brokerage clients (Figure 21).