Take two for Cable & Wireless Communications' (C&WC) Ecommerce offering, relaunched as Web-Commerce II. C&WC claims it will enable retailers to sell goods that may be difficult or inappropriate to shift via distributors.
The company has added support for micropayments, which allow customers to sell low-volume services, such as online access to subscription reports, as well as high-volume products. Another new feature that C&WC claims has attracted interest from potential new customers is additional multicurrency support.
Other enhancements include online statements, which allow customers to trace records of purchases and payments; the ability to operate in different languages; plus support for different types of credit cards including the Japanese Credit Bureau (JCB) card, switch cards and, shortly, American Express.
Tim Smith, manager of Internet Services at C&WC, said: "One of the great misconceptions is that Ecommerce is only affordable by large companies and multinationals. Ecommerce offers enormous potential for expanding a firm's customer base. Recent statisitics estimate the market in the UK as being worth #2.5 billion and that more than 75% of Ecommerce activity in the future will involve business-to-business transactions.
"SMEs and start-ups can establish their businesses solely using the Internet to sell their products without conventional outlay in premises and staff," he added.
C&WC has joined up with NatWest Streamline card processors, to provide secure electronic payment methods including purchasing cards for transactions and JCB function for companies conducting business in the Far East. Customers will have the opportunity to do business with other countries with the option of trading in up to 160 currencies, including the euro from January.
Gary Walker, product manager at C&WC, said its Ecommerce offering is used by about 15 customers in the UK. The largest is Oxford University Press, which is using the facility to sell high-value products and theses.
Upgrading from Web-commerce I to II is automatic and free. New customers can expect a cost of #1,000 which includes set up plus the license to run secure link encryption software. C&WC host the actual Ecommerce platform, Open Market's Transact version 4 which costs #500,000 to buy. This means companies can check out Ecommerce without the huge outlay to test the water.
C&WC 0171 528 2000.
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