The Hi-Tech Investor: A good point

Ipoints is an internet-based loyalty programme aiming to encourage net users to visit websites and to shop online. Ipoints is a rival to internet currencies such as Beenz. They both launched a few weeks ago, but Ipoints is the more UK-focused of the two systems.

Anyone can sign up for the scheme and accumulate points, either for shopping online, or perhaps just for requesting information or registering on a website. Rather than discounts, Ipoints members can order bonuses such as gift vouchers or, if they have enough points, air tickets. Companies offering Ipoints include Amazon.co.uk and the web-based insurance broker Screentrade. Ipoints may be offered to customers who opt to administer their accounts or investments over the net.

www.ipoints.co.uk

Egg heads

The most visible part of the Prudential's presence on the internet is Egg, the direct bank it created last year. The internet is at the heart of Egg's approach: the bank is providing free internet accounts and it also plans to sell discounted PCs.

The Prudential has also been adding to its own website. Where the website scores is in its very clear descriptions of complicated financial products. The Pru was heavily fined for its role in pensions mis-selling. If the website is anything to go by, the company has learned its lesson.

www.pru.co.uk

Stephen Pritchard can be contacted at hi-tech.investor@dial.pipex.com

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