with clearing centers or stock markets. While the bank transfer system in Europe is nationally
standardized, in the US it is more difficult to transfer money online from a customer's account to
another account which is not at the same bank or at least certified by it. In terms of online
banking and brokerage services, German banks can hardly learn from best practice cases in the
US, but they may learn more from the better performing banks in Denmark.
FIGURE 25 Use of Online Sales and Procurement in the Finance Sector
Percent use of online sales
Source: CRITO Global E Commerce Survey, 2002; results are weighted by total number of establishments in banking/finance
sector by size of firm.
The reasons for implementing e commerce technologies also vary among the surveyed countries,
depending on the time lag in innovation diffusion behavior in each country, as well as on the
different drivers and inhibitors, which are also closely related to national tradition and mentality.
Figure 26 depicts the resulting drivers of e commerce, using a five point scale, where 1
corresponds to not a factor at all and 5 to a very significant factor. While the demand of
customers may be identified as an important driver in most countries, especially Denmark, the
usage of online banking does not seem as widespread in France on the customer side. The same
holds true for online competition with major competitors. While in the US, the adoption of e
commerce is strongly driven by competition issues, in Denmark and again in France this factor
seems to be less important in the banking sector.
One of the less important drivers of e commerce, for economic reasons, is the necessity to be
integrated in Internet based electronic supply chains. Due to the low degree of vertical
fragmentation in general, banks develop, create and distribute their products themselves needs
of integrating suppliers are not as important as, for example, in the manufacturing industry. But
again, Denmark is on the forefront and ranks the highest in this field, which may indicate the
beginning process of using pre configured and standardized products and services to reduce
costs, as described in the introduction as one of the most important management tasks at the
moment. The cost issue or, vice versa, the return on investment orientation is therefore an