Banks not cashing in on e-payments

While enthusiasm for e-payments is growing, customers prefer to use specialist suppliers and not banks, according to a ZDNet UK/Banner survey

E-payment schemes for business to business (B2B) transactions are gaining increasing interest from enterprise customers. But trends show high street banks will miss out on the e-payment opportunity, as businesses go to specialist suppliers. In an online survey carried out by Banner and ZDNet UK, 32 percent of companies were either already using a B2B e-payment scheme, in the process of implementing or intending to implement over the next 12 months. A further 12 percent were planning to implement a scheme in a year's time. Businesses researching e-payment systems were far more likely to go to one of the plethora of online payment specialists as opposed to a high street bank. If this trend continues the conventional banks will fail to cash in on this burgeoning trend. Online payments specialists VeriSign, Paypal and Worldpay own the lion's share of the e-payments market, with the most popular payment methods still being the traditional credit card, merchant accounts and electronic cheques. With the growing interest and investment in B2B e-payments from enterprise customers this is likely to force change to embrace smart cards, escrow services and cash substitutes. Security is always of uppermost importance, and the most worrying security risks, according to the survey, came from unauthorised system access. Other worry factors include customer security procedures, and encompassing customer practices, demands, restrictions and failings. Finally the survey laid out some advice to choosing and building the right system for your business. First and foremost, make sure security is tight. A sound reporting system is imperative in order to build sales by cross-selling to existing customers. Ease of use often ensures the success or failure of the system and finally the system selected must suit the business sector being addressed. The study was based on 417 responses to an online questionnaire at Tech Update, ZDNet UK's information source for enterprise IT managers.

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