BANKS WILL NOT SURVIVE WITHOUT THE INTERNET
Yannes Benchina, IBM Vice President for Central and Easter Europe, Near East and Africa to the Banker weekly
Mr. Benchina, how do you think Bulgarian business can make use of your winning Internet-banking startegy?
The most important thing to know is that the industry is undergoing a major transformation and the biggest change can be seen in the ways of delivering products to the customers. Banks should interact between their customers, as the system, valid five years ago when the customers were visiting the bank for an advice or for signing a contract, does not exist any more. Today we speak more and more about ATMs and Internet banking, as this practically includes all transactions of a financial institution. If the baks do not make use of all advanced technologies and do not look for innovation themselves, they will not survive.
Is the situation really so serious?
I will give you an example: five years ago a simple bank transaction in Europe cost USD1. Through the ITN its price dropped to USD0.10 - USD0.20, allowing faster service and reaching bigger number of customers. And while this refers to the optimization of the banks operation, the next example concerns the industry itself.
A car producer would like to purchase 60 000 shock absorbers and it sends an e-mail price inquiry to various producers at 2 p.m. The first offer it receives is for USD6.8MN. Three hours later the producer will receive the last offer for the day, amunting to USD2.8MN. Thus, just for a couple of hours the producer will save USD4MN. In the future no company will survive provided it is not a part of the worldwide Internet distribution system. Otherwise you would be a part of the global network to which we are trying to associate Bulgaria. State can also make its input to the process and support Bulgarian industrial and financial community.
High tech products should enjoy the most favourable environment for distribution - legal basis, import fees and lower taxes for those who have invested in them. Young generation should be granted with access to training opportunities, as it is the most open to high tech and will need them in future. Technologies are important, but they will mean nothing without the relevant knowledge.
Technologies can also be applied for facilitating the people in their relations with the state administration - in issuing driving licences, ID cards and passports, etc.
What are the steps undertaken by IBM to be on top in this dynamic competitive environment?
We have everything we need for the business. We can provide consultancy for the best solution, we can offer the best e-business systems. We also have the basic technologies for the implementation of your solution for this type of business. Our partners can make use of our vast network of partners, who can support its establishment - financing schedules, system integration, etc.