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survey on the use by professionals of electronic finance & commerce

Closing Comment

"E-commerce is very much a buzz phrase at the end of the millennium. But in a few years we will no more be discussing E-commerce than we describe the use of the telephone in business as T-Commerce or the use of the fax as F-Commerce or the use of the postal system as P-Commerce. The Internet is just another better way of doing business and will be supplanted by a newer and better technology"

Warren Edwardes, CEO Delphi Communication

related article: Halo effect of the '@' Published by The Financial Times on 3 May 1999

Delphi Communication, the communication management arm of Delphi Risk Management Limited, carried out an international survey and analysis of the participation in Electronic Commerce of a sample group of bankers, accountants, lawyers, government officials, academics, journalists and other professionals. The survey took the form of 9 questions targeting both the access and usage of the internet with specific focus on e-commerce, both work related and private, and its implication upon the professional.

Some 80% of respondents have access to e-mail at work, yet only 62% at home. Whilst 100% of respondents with e-mail access at home also have access to the Internet at home, employee access to the Internet at work is severely restricted. Reasons for such control are primarily security and time management. There are indications that this hampers productivity.

One respondent wrote "I believe that usage of such resources would ease my work by a factor of 1000" – an exaggeration perhaps, but management would be short-sighted to deny their employees access to the internet as a source of information. Security and time-management controls can be readily installed.

Whilst productivity seems to be the key the factor, another of our respondents chose to highlight her fear over the reliability of information. "My concerns are the duplication of information, obtaining accurate information, and by implication visiting those web sites which are reputable and connected to physical-world brand names, such as The Financial Times or The Economist or a consumer-friendly high street name such as Virgin or Dixons/Freeserve."

Considering the spending habits of our sample it is easy to conclude that the greatest fear amongst all participants is that of security, rather lack thereof. In one instance a respondent purchased a product on-line only to find his credit card was charged with USD10,000 excess which he himself was unable to account for. This particular incident took place some 5 years ago but it does not negate the necessity of reliable security. Enhanced hacking ability on part of the electronic thief or adventurer matches each new technological advance.

Other comments included:

"Today in the high tech world, anyone who chooses to visit the appropriate web site can down load information on matters ranging from how to succeed in credit card fraud to the design of nuclear weapons."

"It is now the power of the nerd whose shape has moved from that hippie stereotype of the 70s to the more astute Armani clad professional. Regulation it seems is but a formality."

From a psychological perspective, the acute Internetphobia of only a year ago has diminished. Over 90% of our respondents recognise the Internet as a valuable tool, whilst appreciating the need for appropriate training and familiarity with this fast developing information resource.

The future seems bright for vendors of e-commerce be they e-retailers or e-bankers. Warren Edwardes, Delphi's CEO said "Whilst specialist Internet companies such as Amazon have made early advances amongst those comfortable with the technology, our survey suggests that recognised real-world brand names will rapidly overtake the early birds in e-commerce - provided the perceived security concerns are addressed and allayed"

To purchase a copy of the full 5,400 word report, which will be released in September 1999, contact Delphi Communication

Price GBP 1800 / EUR 3000 / USD 3000


Warren Edwardes, CEO / Farrukh Younus, Analyst

Tel: +44 20 7724 4606 / Fax: +44 845 333 9795




The Questionnaire

Delphi Risk Management are looking to analyse "E-Commerce'' and its influence on the professional individual for publication in the financial press. We would be grateful if you would spare a few moments to complete the 9 questions listed below. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

1> Do you have e-mail access ?
(a) at work (b) at home

2> Do you have internet access ?
(a) at work (b) at home ?

3> Have you made a purchase on the telephone using a credit card ?
(a) no (b) once (c) twice (d) more than twice

4> if you answered (a) in <3> please state why not. What would persuade you
to do so?

5> Have you made a purchase on the internet using a credit card ?
(a) no (b) once (c) twice (d) more than twice ?

6> if you answered (a) in <5> please state why not. What would persuade you to do so?

7> if you answered (b), (c) or (d) in <5> with whom did you make such a purchase?
(a) a UK firm (b) a US firm (c) a non-US or non-UK firm

8> What have you bought using the internet ?
(a) air tickets (b) books (c) train tickets (d) bus tickets (e) cinema/theatre tickets (f) flowers (g) computer equipment (h) other (please state)

9> Do you feel intimidated by the internet, if so, why?  Or do you find it a developing and valuable resource, if so, why?

Note that the material contained herein shall remain confidential. Should you wish for a copy of our report (via email) would you please indicate so in your reply.

This is an on-going survey. Readers are invited to submit their responses to the above questions to copy and paste the above questionnaire onto an e-mail. - no on-line forms to fill in.

Delphi Creativity, Delphi Communication and Delphi Control are the Innovation, Communication are Risk Management arms of Delphi Risk Management Limited 

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