Europeans Taking Finances Online

The introduction of the Euro is one reason that close to 10 million Europeans will seek financial advice online by the year 2002, according to a report by Forrester Research.

Switzerland and Germany are expected to take the lead in online financial advice because of their speedy adoption of the Internet. On the contrary, the UK and France will be followers as opposed to leaders because UK citizens have high expectations for interactive TV and the French will be slow to abandon the comfort they have developed with Minitel.

Forrester says it will take time for European financial institutions to fully develop the services to match customer demands both technologically and culturally. The report also says companies that move beyond the basic transaction services will develop the most successful online business.

A survey of 62 financial institutions across Europe by Forrester found that presently 65 percent offer basic transaction services online, 35 percent offer personal finance advice, and 15 percent plan to provide product recommendations access to financial experts online.

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