Trends in Retail Banking
About the Internet
Virtual Banking and Applications
5.01. Interactive Application
5.02. Smart Cards
Online Banking System Security
6.02. Firewalls and Routers
6.03. Trusted Operating Systems
Supervision and Regulations of Network Banking
The Internet's explosive growth has initiated considerable activity in the financial services industry. For this industry, the Internet and, in particular, the World Wide Web, serve as a new vehicle for transmitting financial information, comparable to the invention of the telegraph 150 years ago and its use for transmitting financial information. Although computer networks only transport financial information, many predict radical changes including the "dissolution of geographic markets into virtual financial systems" and the "loss of national independence." These predictions are simplistic and are not based on analyzing this issue. However, the facts are (a) financial services are information commodities and (b) public computer networks offer a fast, cheap way to trade information. Public computer networks can radically improve efficiency and competition in the financial services sector. Increased efficiency and competition rely on three characteristics of these networks: ·
Marginal costs of selling financial information over computer networks are small - in fact, typically negligible - compared with more traditional information channels; ·
Public computer networks are essentially borderless, giving rise to the cross-border provision of financial services; ·
Setup costs to establish a financial services business on a public computer network are small, which increases the contestability of financial services markets
The Internet is emerging as an efficient delivery channel for financial services. With Internet banking, customers do not need to have special bank-issued software. Banks maintain their identity and can differentiate themselves by customizing the services and information they provide over the Internet.
Trends in Retail Banking
What does better customer mean? Increasingly, customers are demanding more convenient ways to do their banking. An Ernst and Young study (Technology in Banking Report) concluded "nothing changes in the banking world if customers cannot get financial services when and where they wish...this means anywhere, at any time." Statistics show that ATM's, telephone banking, and home banking account for over fifty percent of all banking transactions today, and total non-branch activity is growing at fifteen percent a year. In one survey (Web-Tech, Inc., May 17, 1995), eighty-two percent of 18- to 34-year olds polled preferred banks with 24-hour service. Customers are also demanding a more sophisticated mix of products tailored specifically to their financial needs, and non-bank competitors are better fulfilling these needs. Banks today hold only 20% of household financial assets, versus 34% twenty years ago; they have 30% of business deposits, versus 42% only seven years ago. Nonbank credit card providers have gained inroads against banks, holding a 25% market share versus 5% in 1986 (WebTech, Inc., May 17, 1995).
Internet banking offers an attractive solution to this redesigned products and services. Customers have 24-hour graphical-interface access to their accounts and appreciate that their bank is doing something to make banking easier for them.
About the Internet
The Internet has exploded in the last two years thanks to the invention of the so-called "browser." A browser is a point-and-click software program that allows "surfers" to navigate around the Internet without knowing any UNIX commands. The first browser was developed by the National Center for...
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