Poland a leader in digital banking - Deloitte

Poland is among the countries that can be called leaders in digital banking, according to research conducted by consulting firm Deloitte and presented at a Tuesday press conference.

Deloitte Partner Grzegorz Cimochowski noted at the press conference that there are few financial institutions these days that do not base their strategy on digitalisation. "So we decided to check who really deserves the title of digital leader, i.e. a bank offering customers useful and important functionality from their point of view," Cimochowski explained. "It's the biggest study into digital channels ever conducted."

The research, entitled "EMEA Digital Banking Maturity 2018" studied 238 banks and 10 'fintech' companies offering banking services in 38 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In Poland, 15 institutions were assessed. In order to analyse 826 functions, real bank accounts were opened. The research showed that Poland is among the digital leaders, alongside such countries as Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. Further behind is the "pursuit group" consisting of the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Norway and South Africa.

Next comes the largest group - which Deloitte calls "the pack" - which includes Germany and the UK. At the end are the "stragglers" including Israel, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Slovenia and Saudi Arabia. Deloitte noted that the leaders' group did not include countries in which access to digital banking is common and widespread, e.g. the Scandinavian countries. They said this is because the most important aspect of rivalry is pressure from customers and competitors.

At the same time, countries with a stable banking system do not have such strong pressure as countries that have gone through a systemic transformation and in which the modern banking market has emerged relatively recently. Hence, Deloitte explained, the high positions of countries like Poland, Russia and Turkey.

Deloitte's Daniel Majewski added that among the Polish banks deserving the title of digital leader are (in alphabetical order) ING, mBank and Bank Millenium. They came in the top 20 out of 248 analysed institutions. The worst Polish bank in terms of digital service came in 242nd position. "We can say that Poland is a digital leader, but Polish banks are varied in this regard," commented Daniel Majewski.