Global Internet Users Manage Finances (59%), Shop (51%) and Look for Jobs (41%) Online

A majority of citizens in 24 countries who use the internet say they do so to check their bank accounts (59%), half (48%) shop for products online and four in ten (41%) have surfed to look for jobs in the last three months, finds a new poll by global research company Ipsos for Reuters News.

E-Banking Taking Hold
About six in ten (59%) citizens connected on the internet have used the web to ‘check bank account and other financial holdings’ in the last 90 days. The vast majority of Swedes (88%) are e-banking, as are three quarters in France (76%), Canada (75%), Australia (74%), Poland (74%), South Africa (74%) and Belgium (73%). Only one quarter of those in Mexico (23%) are shopping online, joined at the bottom of the list by Saudi Arabia (29%), Brazil (32%) and Argentina (36%).

Shopaholics in the Virtual World

Half of online-connected citizens around the world have taken their shopping to cyberspace; 48% say they have used the internet in the past three months to ‘buy products/services online’. Even more (61%) use the web for the research phase, saying they ‘visit sites for info on products I am thinking of buying.’ Countries where online shopping has become the norm for online-connected citizens are among the world’s most developed countries: Germany (74%), Great Britain (74%), Sweden (68%), United States (65%) and South Korea (62%). Uptake of online shopping has been least strong in Saudi Arabia (21%), Mexico (23%). South Africans are dead in line with the global trend of 48% shopping for products online.

The list is slightly different for those using the web to research products they wish to buy. Sweden (80%), Turkey (74%), Great Britain (71%), Indonesia (69%), South Korea (69%) and the United States (68%) lead on this measure, while Saudi Arabia (36%), Hungary (44%), Mexico (45%), India (53%) and Belgium (55%) round out the bottom of the list. Interestingly, even those countries at the bottom have meaningful proportions of internet surfers who use the web for researching products they want to buy.

Forget the Classifieds, Hit the Web

Four in ten (41%) of online global respondents have used the internet ‘to look for a job or search job (recruitment) sites’ in the last three months. About six in ten of those in Poland (61%), Hungary (58%), South Africa (57%) and Mexico (55%) have logged on to look for a job, while only 17% in Japan, 25% in South Korea and France, and 26% in Belgium have done so.

South Africa at a Glance:



Demographic Profile
Those most likely to say they check their bank accounts online are online-connected global citizens who have a high household income (69%), high education (66%) and are between the ages of 50-64 (65%). Online shoppers are mostly high income earners (56%) and highly educated (55%), while those most likely to look for a job online have a low household income (48%), are under the age of 35 (47%) and are unmarried (45%).

About the Survey

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Global @dvisor poll conducted between on behalf of Reuters News. The survey instrument is conducted monthly in 24 countries via the Ipsos Online Panel system. The countries reporting herein are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America. An international sample of 19,216 adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, were interviewed between February 7-21, 2012. Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey, where each have a sample 500+. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points for a sample of 1,000 and an estimated margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points for a sample of 500 19 times out of 20 per country of what the results would have been had the entire population of the specifically aged adults in that country been polled.

For full tabular results, please visit our website at [email protected]

1 It should be kept in mind that this is an international internet panel study and that the South African participants in the study tend to be older and more affluent than the general population.

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Global Internet Users Manage Finances (59%), Shop (51%) and Look for Jobs (41%) Online