Insurers ready to embrace e-commerce: survey

The next 12 months will see an explosion of activity in insurance companies conducting transactions with customers over the Web, a new survey suggests.

Most insurance companies now believe Internet security is good enough to support transactions, according to a spot survey by Prestige Software International of chief financial officers at 25 insurance companies.

Even though only 8 per cent are currently conducting Web-based financial transactions, that figure shot to 44 per cent of the CFOs who plan to roll out such services in the next 12 months.

Of the CFOs quizzed for the poll, 56 per cent said they were comfortable with the level of Internet security for Web-based transactions.

Web sites were running at seven out of every 10 insurance companies surveyed.

Some 64 per cent of the sites were billboard sites aimed at marketing while 48 per cent offered customer service enquires.

Another of the bi-monthly polls by Prestige - the financial management software arm of Computer Associates - found the retail industry is confident its IT and finance departments are on top of the GST transition.

Of 27 chief financial officers, 92 per cent believed their organisations would be fully prepared for the tax if the GST is introduced on July 1 next year.

In 44 per cent of the companies, the finance department is managing the GST project. In 36 per cent, management is a joint finance and IT department responsibility.

A resounding 80 per cent do not believe they would have to employ additional staff to cope with the transition to a GST.

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