Object structure

The role of virtual space in ensuring ‘fair access’ to banking services –results of empirical research conducted in the Polish SME sector


Europa XXI 39 (2020 )


Szczepaniec, Marek : Autor ORCID ; Jurkiewicz, Tomasz : Autor ORCID


Szczepaniec, Marek : Faculty of Economics, University of Gdańsk ; Jurkiewicz, Tomasz : Faculty of Management, University of Gdańsk



Place of publishing:


Date issued/created:



29 cm

Type of object:


Subject and Keywords:

równy dostęp ; bankowość internetowa ; małe i średnie przedsiębiorstwa ; bankowość tradycyjna ; przestrzeń wirtualna


fair access ; internet bakning ; SME ; spatial justice ; traditional banking ; Virtual space ; The aim of this article is to present results of long-term empirical research on the changing behavior of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Poland in the context of spatial exclusion and spatial ‘justice’. Between 2007 and 2015, the authors conducted cyclical research on the financial behavior of SMEs in Poland on large samples. The scope of research on traditional and virtual space covered mainly: the criteria for selecting a bank for current service and the use of various banking services in particular distribution channels. In the researched period, the percentage of indications to convenient location as the most important factor for selecting a bank dropped from 29% to 16%. In the entire period under research, the highest percentage of indications to convenient location as the most important factor for selecting a bank was recorded in the micro enterprises sector. The percentage of entrepreneurs’ indications of fees and commissions as the most important factor in choosing a bank increase from 28% to 36%. Price parameters became the most important factor of bank selection in the SME sector. Virtual space was used primarily to distribute less complex banking services (checking the account balance and viewing the history of operations on the account, as well as to make transfers). In the case of more complex products, such as deposits or loans, traditional banking branches were preferred. In contrast to the results of the American research (Degryse & Ongena, 2002), in Poland there was no impact of the distance between the company and the bank branch on the loan utilization rates and the loan refusal rates. The research has shown that the virtual space equalizes the opportunities, facilitates business operations, contributes to a drop in prices and improvement in quality of the offered products and services, and renders the access to products and services fairer.


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Europa XXI



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1429-7132 (print) ; 2300-8547 (online) ; 10.7163/Eu21.2019.39.2


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Copyright-protected material. [CC BY 4.0] May be used within the scope specified in Creative Commons Attribution BY 4.0 license, full text available at: ; -

Digitizing institution:

Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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Central Library of Geography and Environmental Protection. Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization PAS

Projects co-financed by:

Operational Program Digital Poland, 2014-2020, Measure 2.3: Digital accessibility and usefulness of public sector information; funds from the European Regional Development Fund and national co-financing from the state budget.





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