Worries about the financial transaction processing aspect of ecommerce is deterring many small to medium companies from taking their businesses online, one user group has claimed.
According to research conducted by the Telecommunications Users' Association, banks and accountants are not providing SMEs with the technology support and backup that they need to feel secure about online trading.
TUA research director Vic Davies said many SMEs were comfortable with using the Internet but wanted more information about the security and cash flow implications of accepting online payments before becoming Internet merchants.
"The biggest problem is not a lack of people talking to them or getting access to the right software - the gap is really on the financial side," Davies said.
"It's an area where to an extent, IT companies and telcos have done what they can but they're not banks. Banks need to not just talk about things like free Internet access but provide more in-depth services and reassure people," he said.
While SMEs looked to their accountant or bank manager for advice of this nature, most were failing to deliver the goods, Davies said.
"There's a big [knowledge] gap in terms of banks and accountants. Apart from the big ones, they're about as knowledgeable about this area as their clients. It's a big missing link," he concluded.
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