Resellers have ridiculed Microsoft and Intuit?s promise of a an instant widespread takeup of Internet banking and shopping, saying the UK has neither the infrastructure nor the interest.
The two former rivals in the personal finance software market joined forces last week with commerce software company Check Free and US electonic banking consortium Integrion Financial Network to create a platform to transfer funds between accounts. The move was backed by over 50 financial institutions, including Visa, Citibank and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
But resellers say poor leased-line infrastructure and lack of consumer interest will cripple online commerce in the UK.
Mark Hodgins, chairman of systems integrator GNC, said: ?The normal user can?t afford the infrastructure investment needed to exchange financial information over the Internet. If you ask Internet service providers how many customers they have using leased lines, it?s still very small. Even big corporates still don?t have the leased line infrastructure.?
The standard, Open Financial Exchange, will be rolled out throughout all financial software sold by the vendors, including Intuit?s Quicken and Quick Books, and MS Money, this autumn. It provides developers with standard protocols for financial exchange.
Resellers also felt pessimistic about consumer willingness to buy products over the Internet. Mark Jakes, MD of PDQ Data Systems, said: ?Buying flowers from Interflora is fine, but convenience shopping is a long way off. It?s easier to go to the shops.?
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