Survey finds internet access is essential for expats abroad

Published:  5 Nov at 6 PM
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A recent survey confirmed that the internet is a vital tool for expats across the world as regards banking and staying in touch with home country families and friends.

The comprehensive HSBC Expat Explorer Survey 2012 reports that 70 per cent of expats use the internet to access their banking services, both in their home countries and in their host countries. Only 20 per cent of those surveyed made payments through a bank branch, with even fewer, 7 per cent, using a telephone service and 5 per cent using mobile phone apps.

Methods of liaison with banks depend on the expat location, with those in the Middle East using a local bank for face-to-face transactions. In Oman, 38 per cent use their branch, with 30 per cent in Kuwait, 26 per cent in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain preferring face-to-face. In the US, 16 per cent make use of their local bank, as do 10 per cent in Australia and 12 per cent in New Zealand.

The trend is magnified when research for banking services is involved, with over half of respondents in Oman preferring to visit their branch for details against a global average of 21 per cent. Interestingly, the survey confirms that the global economic crisis has changed expats’ investment and savings patterns, with close on a quarter of those surveyed switching from cash to real estate., with the pattern most noticeable in countries at the heart of the eurocrisis such as France, Spain and Italy.
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