The semi-annual survey, conducted by the Association for Financial Professionals, found that CFOs, treasurers and cash managers show a steady increase in the usage of financial services Web sites to complete transactions, obtain information and communicate with service providers.
Results show an increase from 77% to 92% in the number of respondents who currently use the Internet to obtain information for one or more financial service including:
- cash management
- investment services
- foreign exchange
- capital market services
In addition, the survey of 1,050 corporate practitioners found that the number of those using the Internet to select service providers increased almost threefold, from 16% to 36% over the year.
Obtaining information on the following services was cited as the chief reason for Internet usage:
- cash management (83%)
- investment services (72%)
- credit (57%)
- foreign exchange (53%)
What is worrisome is that an analysis of result shows that current actual usage falls short of that projected by respondents in the October 1999 survey, and while usage has grown steadily, barriers to a seamless corporate finance environment remain.
Among the chief obstacles:
- authentication of counter-party was cited by 93% of respondents,
- integrity of message and security of information were both listed by 92%,
- while 90% cited enforceability of contracts
In terms of the future, participants remain optimistic and see their usage of financial services via Internet increasing.