Unit 1 Introducing banking
Unit 2 Types of account
Unit 3 Opening an account
Unit 4 Transferring money
Unit 5 Credit cards and traveller's cheques
Unit 6 Personal borrowing
Unit 7 Corporate loans
Unit 8 Financing
Unit 9 Foreign trade
The rapid growth of the Internet as a service delivery option presents banks with perhaps the greatest dilemma in their long history.
More and more high net-worth clients are choosing to do their banking via their personal computer. Market analysis has shown that Internet banking is most popular among educated professionals in the 25——45 age group. These are the cash-rich, time-starved f01k who rarely have time to visit their local branch and who value the extra control of their finances that direct Online access offers. They see the value in investing in computer technology at home for the potential lifestyle enhancement that it brings, as well as giving their children an educational headstart in life, The Internet thus gives banks an opportunity to capture the next generation of account holders at an early age. It also offers a means of marketing products to consumer groups who find it physically difficult to visit a branch or use a call-centre: the disabled, the deaf and people on shift work.
One aspect which will ultimately increase the growth of Internet banking services is that of economics. Research has shown that exceptional cost savings can be achieved by processing traditional bank transactions online, compared with branch or telephone operation& Even the cost of setting up and maintaining an Interact banking service compares favourably with the expense of running bank branches.
Despite these advantages, however, banks are having to consider a number of problems. First, how will Internet banking affect their relationship with their customers？ Will it be weakened if customers never deal with a "warm body" in the bank's organization？ In the longer term, what will it mean if fewer and fewer customers need to go into, or even need, a bank branch？ Additionally the installation of ATMs at garages, supermarkets and other locations means that customers no longer have to visit a branch to withdraw cash. Electronic means of payment further reduce the need even for ATM visits.
While banks have to provide Internet services to avoid losing valued clients, what about the rest of their customers - those that cannot afford the outlay of 1,000 for a computer to get online？ The majority of the populationcan can probably think of nothing worse than spending their leisure time staring at a computer screen and tinkering around with their personal finances. But to be viable, Internet banking has to find ways of appealing to the mass market. Digital TV could become a powerful delivery channel - after all, many spend hours looking at their television screens every day.
In internet banking, the US leads the way. But is the US situation applicable to Europe？ In a country where the average citizen spends 24 hours a year writing and posting cheques to pay bills, there is obviously a need for electronic bill presentment. In Europe, however, direct debits and standing orders are popular and convenient payment systems. ConSumers are also nervous about the question of security. The argument that "security which is good enough for the US military is good enough for the banks" carries little weight in Europe. People would prefer to see banks acting as guarantors for Internet transactions in the same way as credit card organizations do forfraudulent misuse.