Traditional banking was impacted greatly by the commercialization of the Internet in the early 1990s. As the Internet became more generally accessible, traditional banks began to realize its potential to deliver services to their customers while reducing long-term operational costs. Upon realizing this, traditional banks began to offer limited services online.
The initial success of internet banking services provided by traditional banks led to the development of internet-only banks or “virtual banks”. These banks were designed without a traditional banking infrastructure, a cost-saving feature that allowed many of them to offer savings accounts with higher interest rates and loans with lower interest rates than most traditional banks.
KEY VIRTUAL BANKS
* ING Direct, part of ING Group
* HSBC Direct, part of HSBC
* First Direct, part of HSBC
* ZUNO Bank, part of Raiffeisen Zentralbank or Raiffeisen International Bank