A new survey shows that Ireland is among the top three countries in Europe who have seen a major increase in the digital banking population between 2018 and 2020.

The survey, from digital bank N26, shows an 82% increase in the number of people in Switzerland using digital banking, while Ireland and the UK saw increases of 56% and 55% respectively.

N26's "2021 Global Digital Banking Index" is an analysis of surveys and research done with over 47,000 banking customers in 28 markets to explore consumers' changing attitudes towards digital banking.

Across the 28 countries surveyed, 23% of respondents - an estimated 450 million customers - already has a digital-only bank account.

46% of the survey's participants without an online account said they would be motivated to open one.

N26 said the findings also suggest that the number of digital banking customers could grow to around 70% of the population across countries surveyed - potentially 1.4 billion people in all.

Today's survey also reveals that the top three countries with the highest share of customers with a digital-only bank account are Saudi Arabia (54%), United Arab Emirates (51%), and Brazil (44%).

The countries demonstrating the fastest growth in digital banking adoption in the last two years were Switzerland (82%), Brazil (73%) and Australia (58%).

Brazil is the first country with more female digital banking customers than male (52% female compared to 48% male customers).

Ireland is among the many European countries trending towards an equal split between the genders, such as in Italy (45% female), Denmark (44% female), Sweden (44% female) and Ireland (43% female).

N26 said today's study points towards the important role women play in shaping the future adoption of digital banking.

The survey also shows that trust remains an important factor to attract and retain customers.

With the lack of face-to-face interaction in the online space, it is particularly important for digital banks to successfully infuse intimacy and humanity in their interactions with customers.

N26 said that Ireland (68%) has the greatest amount of trust in Europe for digital banking while Germany (54%) Spain (53%) and France (53%) also show positive levels of trust.

Ireland follows Brazil (78%) who exhibits the highest amount of trust globally.

"It is clear that building and earning trust is a significant factor in our industry's future, especially as we do not have centuries of legacy that traditional banks do. However, the pandemic showed that we must be focused on the future, not the past. That's why N26 is building banking for the 21st century and continues to earn the trust of millions of customers around the world," Alex Weber, chief growth officer of N26, said.