E-Commerce Times Talkback
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Consumer confidence in e-commerce took center stage Friday and Saturday
when the European Commission (EC) met in Stockholm,
Sweden to discuss the "eEurope 2002 Action Plan."
Acknowledging that "business and citizens in the European Union
have been slower in embracing this New Economy than [those] in the
United States," the EC said that e-commerce in the EU
is handicapped by this lack of consumer trust.
EU cross-border e-commerce is not only hampered by consumer trust or lack of clearness on dispute settlement, but also by:
- multitude of languages and cultures
- lack of uniform payment and delivery system
- high cost of fast Internet connections
I do not agree that so much emphasis is placed on consumer fear as the major setback in e-commerce growth. Consumers run the risk of falling victim to fraud in every aspect of their lives. Encryption is also being widely adopted by service providers to enhance security and legislation can also to some extent offer a degree of consumer protection (UK Consumer Credit Act 1974)
I agree completely that there's more hampering EC's growth in Europe than just lack of consumer confidence.
But won't the Euro solve the issue of a uniform payment method? At the very least, it ought to solve the exchange rate issue.
As far as the UK is concerned the biggest barrier seems to be a lack of confidence in using credit cards online.
Services like the new www.SafeDoor.co.uk from Securicor should help to combat these fears but will this be enough?