From traditional e-banking to modern digital banking

The banking world is changing and e-banking is more than just a sideshow

How is e-banking changing and where are modern digital banking services heading? Find out more here.

In recent years, traditional banking has changed radically with the introduction and development of e-banking, mobile banking and mobile payment. E-banking and mobile banking, also known collectively as electronic or digital banking, refers to the processing of banking transactions via the Internet. In the past, the focus was on personal contact in the branch, but today banking takes place impersonally and from anywhere via smartphone. This article takes a look at modern e-banking, its functions and the role of online banks, mobile banking and mobile payment.

E-banking has long been a convenient and efficient way for customers to manage their finances without having to physically visit a bank branch. It allows users to access and use banking services at any time by simply logging in, transacting and logging out via a web browser. The range of services offered via e-banking is extensive and includes balance inquiries, transfers, setting up standing orders, applying for loans and much more.

In the recently published book ‘Switzerland in figures – Statistical yearbook 2022/2023 (German)‘, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) shows that the proportion of the population aged 15-88 using e-banking increased from 68% in 2019 to 73% in 2021.

The term e-banking refers to interaction with the bank using a computer and browser. If this interaction takes place using a banking app on a smartphone or tablet, it is referred to as mobile banking.

Secure e-banking can be achieved by the following measures:

  • Always manually type the address to your financial institution’s e-banking in the address bar of your browser. Never use a link or a search engine to log in.
  • Make sure the connection is secure (lock symbol, correct name of the financial institution and correct domain name).
  • Terminate the connection immediately in the event of a system interruption or unusual error messages.
  • When you are on the move, make sure that you enter your login information covertly and that nobody is looking over your shoulder.
  • Pay attention to unusual occurrences during an active e-banking session and report them to the financial institution.
  • Read all confirmation messages carefully before acknowledging them.
  • Never leave open e-banking sessions unattended.
  • End the e-banking session correctly using the function provided for this purpose (usually marked “Log out”, “Logout” or “Exit”).
  • Delete the browser history every time you log out of the e-banking session.

Mobile banking

Mobile banking is a specialized form of e-banking that enables customers to carry out banking transactions via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Mobile banking apps often offer additional functions such as bill scanning with the camera or push notifications for transactions.

Despite its great popularity, many users of mobile banking are unsure whether it is as secure as traditional e-banking. A survey conducted by Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in 2020 revealed that although bank customers are happy to take advantage of mobile solutions, there is not complete trust in the security of this technology. Many still consider e-banking on a PC to be more secure.

Objectively speaking, both options are very secure. Due to the fact that with mobile banking, the financial institution installs a piece of software, namely the mobile banking app, on the user’s device and banking is carried out via this, important security functions are also integrated directly into the app.

The following rules of conduct are important for secure mobile banking on the user side:

  • Mobile device protection: make sure your device is protected by measures such as screen locks and up-to-date security updates.
  • Secure installation: Only download the mobile banking app from the official store.
  • Restrict app permissions: Generally only grant all apps the necessary access rights and uninstall any apps that are not required.
  • Network connection: Only connect your device to trustworthy networks and be wary of insecure WiFi providers.
  • Loss management: Lock your device immediately if it is lost and ensure that data is securely deleted before selling or disposing of it.

Online banks

Online banks are financial institutions that operate exclusively online, without traditional branch networks. These banks often offer lower fees, higher interest rates on deposits and better foreign currency exchange rates as they have lower operating costs. Online banks, also known as smartphone, neo or internet banks, enable easy account opening, money transfers and offer additional features such as virtual disposable credit cards. All interaction and functions are offered exclusively via a smartphone app.

The same rules of conduct apply to the secure use of online banks and their mobile banking as to mobile banking.

In addition, there are a few things to bear in mind when using online banks:

  • Be aware that online-only banks offer limited contact and support options.
  • Do not permanently deposit another credit card with the online bank to top up your account. Remove this credit card once you have topped up your account.
  • Do not use online banks as your sole bank, but only as an additional account with which you can pay cheaply on vacation, for example.
  • Use the app’s security settings; certain transactions such as cash withdrawals, online transactions or contactless payments can often be (temporarily) blocked to increase the protection of the credit card. The blocks can be deactivated and reactivated with just a few clicks.

Mobile payment and contactless payment

Mobile payment refers to the ability to make payments or money transfers via a mobile device. Services such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet or Samsung Pay enable users to pay in stores (at the point of sale, PoS), online or among themselves (peer-to-peer) without having to use physical means of payment such as cash or cards. The use of mobile payment solutions has increased significantly, particularly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, 38% of respondents to a survey on cashless payment transactions in Switzerland stated that they use mobile payment at least once a week.

According to statistics from the Statista Research Department in January 2024, four million people in Switzerland actively use Twint, making around 200 million transactions a year. Around 50% of users are aged 20-39. Twint is the most frequently used payment app in Switzerland with 60% of users in 2023.

The evolution to digital banking

Today, the concept of e-banking, i.e. digital banking, goes far beyond simple online access to bank accounts. Digital banking encompasses a comprehensive digital transformation of banking services that aims to seamlessly integrate different services across multiple channels. It emphasizes the importance of user experience, personalized services and the use of data analytics to offer customers tailored solutions.


Modern e-banking has revolutionized the way people manage their finances. It does this by enabling convenient, fast and secure banking transactions around the clock. As the industry continues to introduce innovative solutions and technologies, digital banking will undoubtedly continue to play a central role in people’s daily lives.

Author: Cornelia Meili-Breu, Information Security & Data Protection Assistant, Team “eBanking – but secure!” (, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Information Technology

«eBanking – aber sicher!» (EBAS) ist eine unabhängige Plattform der Hochschule Luzern – Informatik, die Sie dabei unterstützt, Ihre persönliche Informationssicherheit mit Fokus auf E-Banking wahrzunehmen. Die Website bietet umfassende und praxisnahe Informationen im Bereich der Informationssicherheit, die darauf abzielen, die Sicherheit digitaler Bankgeschäfte (E-Banking, Mobile Banking, Payment etc.) zu gewährleisten. Die Informationen richten sich sowohl an Anfängerinnen und Anfänger als auch an erfahrene E-Banking-Anwendende und werden zum Teil auch spielerisch, wie beim Phishing-Test oder Ransomware-Game vermittelt. Die Website dient somit als umfassende Informationsquelle für alle, die ihre elektronischen Bankgeschäfte sicher gestalten möchten. Des Weiteren bietet EBAS Kurse zu verschiedenen Themen (Mobile, Kryptowährungen etc.) und Zielgruppen (z.B. Endkunden, KMU).

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