Financial services step up the pace of e-commerce
Saturday 18 September 1999
It was a week in which the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, extolled the benefits of "e", e-commerce that is, and it also saw the launch of an Internet service provider aimed specifically at women which will no doubt be the favourite of one of his predecessors, handbag.com (really).It's been a busy few days for online financial services as well, with the launch of a new Internet bank, an online-only mortgage and a web- based broking service.Although by no means the first mortgage to be offered via the Internet, Swiss bank Credit Suisse says its Promise mortgage product is the first all-online mortgage. It claims the entire application process, including credit checking, will take customers around 15 minutes to complete and may be completed entirely over the Internet. Whether homebuyers are ready to do without the "hand-holding" of the more traditional mortgage arrangement process is another matter. How brave do you feel?The new broker on the Net is SwissNetBanking, which offers you access to the US stockmarkets
It was a week in which the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, extolled the benefits of "e", e-commerce that is, and it also saw the launch of an Internet service provider aimed specifically at women which will no doubt be the favourite of one of his predecessors, handbag.com (really).It's been a busy few days for online financial services as well, with the launch of a new Internet bank, an online-only mortgage and a web- based broking service.Although by no means the first mortgage to be offered via the Internet, Swiss bank Credit Suisse says its Promise mortgage product is the first all-online mortgage. It claims the entire application process, including credit checking, will take customers around 15 minutes to complete and may be completed entirely over the Internet. Whether homebuyers are ready to do without the "hand-holding" of the more traditional mortgage arrangement process is another matter. How brave do you feel?The new broker on the Net is SwissNetBanking, which offers you access to the US stockmarkets, charging a flat fee per trade of $29.95 with a minimum required deposit balance of $5,000. B ut you cannot use this service yet. It will open for account registration in October and aims to be up and running on 1 November.In addition to what is on offer through your PC, HSBC unveiled its digital TV banking service and Egg has launched the UK's first Internet-based credit card with interest rates that are not just market-leading but so far ahead of the competition the gap is positively Grand Canyon-ish.It may come as a surprise, but Egg is not yet even one year old. Launched on October 11, 1998, it has some 600,000 customers and manages £6.7bn in savings. A recent IBM/Interbrand survey named it as one of the world's top 10 financial brands on the Internet.The Egg card carries no annual fee, has an APR of just 9.9 per cent and an even more attractive rate of 4.5 per cent APR for the first six months on credit transfers. There are also other cashbacks and discounts available to card users.Egg has discovered that to be a successful bank in the electronic information age, there is no need for a high street property portfolio. This is a lesson being learnt by others, notably US banking group Citibank which is pursuing high net worth individual accounts over the Internet and now also by First-e, the banking arm of the Dublin-based holding company called, simply, enba, first mentioned in this column on 27 February. First-e has matched Egg's savings rate, offering 5.75 per cent gross on deposits of £1 or more.It would seem the days of the high street bank branch are numbered but perhaps the Web bankers should be looking over their shoulders as well. Research by Cyber Dialogue in the United States shows that almost half the people who banked on the Internet closed their accounts in the past year. Of some 6.3 million online accounts, 3.1 million have already given up, citing poor customer service and complicated site navigation. There are, no doubt, lessons there for the younger web-banking businesses in the UK.But the main threat to the high street bank, and to the web-bank, will come from digital interactive television, which will allow personal customers to transact their banking business from the armchair. HSBC's service is being phased in and it will not be until February 2000 that customers will be able to pay bills and transfer funds. But from next month HSBC personal customers will be able to keep track of their balances and bank statements. Quotations for loans and mortgage repayment costs are already available. Other banks will follow where HSBC has led.Promise: www.ipromise.comSwissNetBanking: www.swissnetbanking.comEgg: www.egg.comFirst-e: www.firste.com Robin can be reached at RobinAmlot@aol.com
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 4 Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...
£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...
Day In a Page
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000