The third annual Focus Quotient survey of ecommerce in financial services has found another step-change in the use of electronic means to write and transact new and existing business.
Published by technology provider Focus Solutions, the survey indicates a six-fold increase in the use of ecommerce on an indexed basis since 2001.
Ecommerce accounted for one-in-six new business transactions in the industry in 2003, up from one-in-27 in 2002, the survey's figures suggest.
Another major shift of the past year was the usurping of IFA extranets as the chief means to drive online business.
Direct sales accounted for 34% of electronic transactions, against 23% for extranets, Focus reports.
New points-of-sale solutions are heavily responsible for this shift, Focus suggests.
Nigel Smith, Focus Solutions director of propositions, says perhaps the biggest indicator of the rise and rise of ecommerce is the decision by some organisations to “switch off the paper” altogether.
”But, we’ve only just got there,” he adds, indicating how much slower adoption has been than some might have expected a few years ago. ,/p>
”It’s starting to become the norm. The ‘problem’ is the full cycle of ecommerce, including STP, notification, and so on.”
Users of ecommerce also face a new challenge in mandated use of technology.
This will speed up adoption of ecommerce, but may act as a “fly in the ointment” in terms of the pressures in trying to develop a business model while also dealing with de-polarisation and, for example, how to implement multi-tie solutions, Smith says.
The focus of ecommerce has therefore shifted over the past year, Smith adds, to regulated mandatory standards, mandatory electronic reporting rules, XBRL, and Origo standards. Results of the Focus Quotient survey one year ago revealed more focus on capital adequacy and capital investments needed to push ecommerce along.IFAonline
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