Egg, the web and the garden hedge

Have they finally cracked it?
Written by silicon.com staff, Contributor

Have they finally cracked it?

Take an unpleasant activity like wasting your lunch hour in a queue so that you can set up a standing order, mirror that activity on the web and you have a winning business model. That, seemingly is what the creators of online bank Egg have done. The bank's announcement that it has hit profitability suggests that banking is a viable internet business. Egg's customer base has steadily increased by around 100,000 over the last two quarters and it feels big enough to cover its own bad debts. Users are sticking around even when the loss leader offers Egg used to tempt them to open accounts have ended. The result is a sign that ebusiness is growing up from the crazy adolescent days of 1998 when it didn't really know what it wanted to be. It may be a bit boring, but at least it's a bit more stable. Web users are a lot more savvy too, if Egg's own research is to be believed. British surfers are familiar with futuristic technologies like biometrics and might even prepared to use them to protect their accounts. This reveals a big swing from the attitudes of the past and proves that customers are happy with concepts such as a virtual world - even when it involves their life savings. Or is it just that they are in favour of anything that will make life a little easier? Egg's research showed that people also liked the idea of machines that clean the toilet and do the garden for you. It might seem trivial but this actually shows people are open to new ideas and the possibility of technology lifestyle enhancer. And although it might have been a long time coming, the consumer is now comfortable with the idea that the web really is a wonderful place.
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