The most active online bankers in the world right now are in the Netherlands and Sweden, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

A recent survey of more than 60,000 online consumers across 14 countries found 90% of online consumers in the Netherlands use electronic banking, compared with 88% in Sweden, 87% in South Korea and 81% in Australia.

Then there was a sharp drop off to 65% in Canada and Japan, 62% in France, 60% in Germany and 57% in the United States. India was at the bottom of the list of the 14 developed countries at 16%, with Italy at 24%, Poland and Spain at 41%, Hong Kong at 44%, China at 47% and the United Kingdom at 50%.

Globally, rates are affected by such factors as branch locations, ATM fees, government support and Internet adoption levels, the Cambridge, Mass., research and advisory firm said.

Forrester said high Internet adoption rates and heavy use of electronic payments are helping to drive the numbers in the Netherlands and Sweden, and said that online banking has “replaced branch usage in these countries.”

Security concerns are holding down online banking adoption in the United States and Canada, Forrester said, adding that it expects those numbers to rise in coming years, driven by Gen Y consumers less fearful of online security issues and less dependent on physical branches.

The think firm said Chinese consumers appear to the spend the most time on the Internet, about 27 hours a week on average, but their use tends to center around entertainment. They do, however, check financial accounts on a mobile device at least once a month, the highest rate in the Asian Pacific countries.
South Korean respondents, meanwhile, spend an average of 16 hours per week on the Internet and seem to focus on online shopping, Forrester said.