Radar Screen

Back to Contents of Issue: October 2002

Banking on the Net

If you want to make a deposit via the Internet, use Sony Bank. If you want to use the cheapest possible net-banking go to Shinsei -- that's what Gomez (www.gomez.co.jp) tells us. As of August the popular ranking site specializing in eCommerce, ranked Sony Bank as the tip-top net-banking site, improving from fourth a year earlier.

Most net-banking sites nowadays have features like foreign currency savings, investment trusts and all that jazz. Sony's banking site has also added convenient tools for loans -- you can forward-load payments for your loans or you can change interest rates online. Gomez reasons that such features, along with its site response and customer-support services, contributed to the victory. Sony also secured the fist place in two (stability and contents) out of the five categories. As for the category of the cheapest online fees, Shinsei Bank (12th in the overall ranking) was the top. Sony Bank is still losing money (in the last quarter, it lost JPY900 million) but the company claims that its annual loss will be trimmed significantly.

Sumitomo-Mitsui Bank's slid down to second, while UFJ Bank came in third, down from second. Interestingly, troubled Mizuho still offers entirely different services for customers from the former Fuji Bank account and those from the old Daiichi Kangyo Bank.

Rankings of online-only banks, apart from Sony, remain little changed, with Japan Net Bank coming in eighth (seventh the previous year), IY Bank 16th (15th) and eBANK 17th (unchanged).

This year's new face was the postal savings site. The site just opened in March, but already has 100,000 accounts. @

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