Britons are broadening their online horizons

Monday 15 December 2003 08:01 CET | News

Greater web confidence and broader use of the Internet has boosted e-commerce growth, according to the latest Visa e-spending figures.

With online spending up 87 per cent on last year – Visa is predicting that Christmas shopping figures will set new records, as shoppers are discovering their web comfort zone. Overall, more than £1.5 billion (€2.2 billion) was spent online in the UK in Q3 this year, representing growth of 87 per cent compared with the same period last year. The airline and entertainment sectors continue to grow and act as key drivers for e-commerce, yet the figures also tell another story: e-commerce success is broadening, as newer services become more successful, and consumers are entering their ‘web comfort zone’. It is clear that consumers are gaining confidence and broadening the sites they shop from and the kinds of products they buy. One example is the growing use of the Internet for bill payments and financial management. UK consumers spent £16.2 million (€23 million) on their Visa cards paying bills over the web in the last quarter, up by over £6.8 million (€9.9 million) on the previous quarter, and three and a half times more than the public spent this time a year ago. This accelerated growth has come as the big utilities such as British Gas are launching marketing campaigns to incentivise their customers to pay their bills online by offering discounts. Travel and tourism has also benefited from increased confidence in online payments. Online hotel bookings, for instance, have more than tripled compared to Q3 last year. Despite the traditional post-summer slowdown in travel, online hotel bookings have surged showing that this sector is embracing the web as a tool for competitiveness. Elsewhere, online spending on cinema bookings, train tickets and flights has also increased and the use of the Internet to purchase professional services such as insurance and other financial products has risen by 67 per cent in the last year. Visa is addressing the security aspects of shopping online with its Verified by Visa service, for online payment authentication. Over 10,000 retailers, more than 30 acquiring banks and 35 issuing banks across Europe have now signed up for Verified by Visa, before it is rolled out to consumers. By signing up for the service, Visa predicts that online retailers will reduce the number of e-commerce disputes by up to 80 per cent. In total this means that UK retailers will save an estimated £55 million a year by adopting Verified by Visa. In addition, all participating retailers benefit from a no fraud guarantee for online transactions regardless of whether the cardholder has signed up for the service or not.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce