by Ronny Wolf, Product Manager Corporate Banking Portal, Commerzbank AG,
Corporate Banking Trade Finance & Transaction Services (TFTS)
The challenges of the internet
What does the internet mean to you, and how do you use it?
What do you need from your internet banking?
Before you ask yourself the first question, try answering the second. Most treasurers will mention security, reliability, the ability to make payments and retrieve statements. However, many systems can provide these capabilities without actually being an appropriate tool for accessing banking services via the internet. If we address the first question, we might find ourselves with a different answer. The way you use the internet, the information and services you access and the relative importance of the internet in conducting your personal and business affairs is likely to differ substantially from your friends and colleagues. Just as the high street caters for different types of shopper, the internet also caters for the diverse needs and objectives of its users. While some internet users swear by search engines, others prefer to go directly to their trusted web pages and rarely look further. Many people are so comfortable with the internet that they go shopping, book their holidays and conduct their banking online. Others prefer to use other methods for purchasing goods and services, using the internet only to compare prices or access information services such as the news, television programme listings, weather forecasts and email. Some will not provide personal details over the internet while others are keen chatroom participants, using the internet to communicate with new and potential friends and seek contacts through online business communities.