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The Internet browser is becoming an increasingly important enabler of modern business practice. What was once simply the door to the Internet now facilitates many business critical web applications. The astoundingly fast evolution of the web and web-based technology means that banks cannot afford to neglect rapid advancements in this area.

Key Findings

  • Decision Making Process– There is very little flexibility for individual employees or even regional IT heads to decide on which internet browser to deploy as, generally, the desktop build is specified by a central team or group IT heads.
  • The Dominance of Internet Explorer – Despite figures from StatCounter showing the decay of Microsoft’s internet browser market share in the consumer market, Internet Explorer has bedded down in the banking sector and there is no indication that this will change any time soon.
  • Support for Windows XP – In general, an internet browser upgrade to a newer version is bundled with an upgrade of the operating system. Banks using Windows XP will be forced to upgrade to Windows 7 and those using Internet Explorer 6 will need to upgrade to either Internet Explorer 8 or 9.
  • Prioritising Internet Browser Upgrades – As banks struggle with more urgent technology changes, driven by new regulation and cost saving in a challenging climate, the upgrade of internet browsers and desktop operating systems is not seen as a priority.


Decisions on workstation build specifications, which include internet browser and operating system strategies, are made on a global basis. Reasons given by the participating banks for the choice of browser vary and include contractual arrangements, the pervasiveness of Microsoft products and fears of compatibility issues which may compromise security. The trend seems to be that upgrades to Internet Explorer are planned for next year. The result of this research is that the changes in market share for internet browsers have not, and will not in the medium term, translate into moves away from Microsoft’s domination of Internet Browsers in the banking sector.

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