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Consumers’ changing financial behavior during the COVID-19 lockdown: the case of Internet banking use in Greece

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This paper studies the impact of the 1st COVID-19 lockdown in Greece on the internet banking. Our study relies on a survey conducted, during the first lockdown period between April 13th and May 3rd, 2020 in Greece, among respondents between 18 and 64-years-old. The sample was appropriately weighted with the raking method to accurately reflect the distribution of the real population. The main result is straightforward: more days in a lockdown may be associated with an increased possibility for further i-banking use. We provide important insights to financial services’ providers by pointing out female gender, increasing age, living in a metropolitan area and job security status as the most crucial predictors for shaping changing financial behavior.
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Journal of Financial Services Marketing
Consumers’ changing financial behavior duringtheCOVID‑19
lockdown: thecase ofInternet banking use inGreece
AlexandrosP.Bechlioulis1· DimitriosKaramanis1,2
Received: 21 September 2021 / Revised: 8 March 2022 / Accepted: 9 April 2022
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2022
This paper studies the impact of the 1st COVID-19 lockdown in Greece on the internet banking. Our study relies on a survey
conducted, during the first lockdown period between April 13th and May 3rd, 2020 in Greece, among respondents between
18 and 64-years-old. The sample was appropriately weighted with the raking method to accurately reflect the distribution
of the real population. The main result is straightforward: more days in a lockdown may be associated with an increased
possibility for further i-banking use. We provide important insights to financial services’ providers by pointing out female
gender, increasing age, living in a metropolitan area and job security status as the most crucial predictors for shaping chang-
ing financial behavior.
Keywords Financial behavior· Consumer sentiments· Financial services· Internet banking· COVID-19 lockdown period
JEL Classification C83· G41· G59
Nowadays, when countries are working to strengthen their
health systems to fight against Coronavirus disease 2019
(COVID-19), the economy is suffering from restrictions and
lockdowns. The Guardian’s economics editor Larry Elliot
wrote that the coronavirus crisis may lead to a new way of
economic thinking.1 The post-digital-revolution economy
that we live, encourages this new way of thinking through
the use of digital skills that are an integral part of the mod-
ern behavioral finance toolkit. Such skills enhance individu-
als’ capacity to interact with financial institutions and accel-
erate internet financial activity. The latter is obvious when
one considers that, in 2020, seven out of ten most valuable
companies by market capitalization worldwide were digital
platforms (Kitsing 2021).
In this regard, we are interested to investigate the impact
of COVID-19 lockdown in the financial behavior of Greek
consumers concerning the internet banking (i-banking) use.
In this regard, a question arises: Why should we choose a
country like Greece to apply this research? In this respect,
in the last 10years Greece has experienced a sovereign
debt crisis, a bank-run and currently the pandemic (Feath-
erstone 2011; Mink and De Haan 2013; Konstantakis etal.
2021). The debt crisis led to a fiscal consolidation for almost
8years, the banking crisis called for the imposition of capital
controls in domestic and international capital flows, and the
health crisis imposed a lockdown in almost all sectors in the
Greek economy. Even though the debt crisis might not affect
the consumers’ behavior concerning digital financial trans-
actions, the restrictions on capital flows, lasted for 4years
beginning in 2015, had an unprecedented effect in i-banking
use.2 In 2020, Greece implemented one of the most success-
ful lockdown policies in the Europe against the pandemic
which lasted for almost two months. Briefly, on February
26th 2020, the first patient infected by COVID-19 was
officially confirmed, and the Greek government gradually
adopted a variety of restrictive measures, for instance school
* Dimitrios Karamanis
1 Department ofEconomics, University ofPiraeus, 80 Karaoli
and Dimitriou St., 18534Piraeus, Greece
2 Department ofHealth Informatics, Rutgers School ofHealth
Professions, Newark, NJ, USA
1 The article can be found here: https:// www. thegu ardian. com/ busin
ess/ 2020/ mar/ 22/ the- coron avirus- is- leadi ng- to-a- whole- new- way- of-
econo mic- think ing.
2 Eurostat report states that, in Greece, i-banking use have been dou-
bled during the capital controls’ period. See https:// ec. europa. eu/
euros tat/ web/ produ cts- euros tat- news/-/ DDN- 20180 115-1.
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
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