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Societies lag on e-commerce

More than half of building societies have not taken their first steps in

e-commerce because they cannot afford it, according to a new report.

Research commissioned by Deloitte & Touche and e-business solutions group

iE found only 43 per cent of mutuals have e-commerce capability of any

kind. Only a handful have technology more advanced than basic online

application forms, with the majority of societies relying on

information-only websites.

The report found the biggest barrier to e-commerce is cost, with 66 per

cent of mutuals in the survey citing this as the principal reason for

dragging their feet. The report found that two-thirds of mut-uals expect to

offer some kind of e-commerce service within 12 months.

iE director Jerry Mulle believes societies must collaborate to achieve

this goal. He says: “Some building societies are looking at nothing more

than brochure-ware,while others are considering full online servicing.

If they are not willing or able to throw money at the problem

individually, these organisations are going to need to exploit their

collective strengths to reach a solution.”

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