Financial world set to increase Internet use

Demand for website design skills looks set to surge, according to a new report. The report indicates a sharp global jump in the number of financial services companies using the Internet and PCs for transactions.

According to the new findings, transactions on the Internet are expected to rise by 400 per cent by 1999, prompting chartered accountant Ernst & Young to claim the financial services industry “will play a leading role in Internet innovation”.

Over 130 financial institutions in 17 countries were surveyed for this year’s report. One of the highest rises is predicted in the US, where 87 per cent of respondents to the survey will be using the Internet for transactions with customers by 1999 compared to only 60 per cent in the rest of the world. More than one third of respondents said the most important technology investment in 1999 would be PC banking.

A spokeswoman for US consultancy FRCH Design Worldwide says: “The financial services industry is experiencing the same phenomenon that many public venues are: the collision of entertainment and retail. At the same time, consumer demand has never been greater for more, better and faster service. Easy access is required.

“Good retail designers and communicators merchandise a dialogue between consumer and client. We create a relationship which redefines and revitalises the brand and revolutionises marketing potential,” she adds.

As well as on-line banking, 67 per cent of global respondents plan to review branch layouts, with a higher figure of 71 per cent for institutions in the US compared to 53 per cent of European respondents.

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