ERN has announced the appointment of Roger Alexander, the former President of Elavon Merchant Services Europe and Brian Thom, the former President of Citibank Japan, to its board of advisors. Alexander brings to the role vast experience of the financial services industry, currently holding non-executive directorships at foreign exchange platform Canton FX, payment and loyalty consultancy The Logic Group and secure payment solution provider Pensio. He’s a graduate from Harvard Business School and spent over a decade at Barclays as Managing Director of The Emerging Markets Group as well as a Director at Barclaycard, also Roger was the former CEO of EuroConex and the former CEO of Switch UK. Meanwhile, Thom spent more than seven years at Citibank, where he served as President of Citibank Japan and Country Head of Citibank Korea. He is currently a Director at CSC Pacific and DPSL Limited, Executive Director at Asia CEO Network and a Partner at business solution and support service provider Gravitas Partnership. He is also the former Global Head of Marketing For American Express and the former SVP of Marketing for MasterCard.
A recent Nielsen survey indicates that 85% of consumers think the U.S. is experiencing a recession and consumer confidence has dropped 17 points. The survey reveals that 35% of U.S. consumers consider the economy their biggest concern over the next six months. Debt comes in a distant second place at 15%, followed by work/life balance at 8%. International affairs, such as war and terrorism, rank near the bottom of the list (2% and 3%, respectively). Americans-â¢ view of the economy is bleak with 66% of U.S. respondents have a pessimistic view of their local job prospects over the next 12 months, with 50% saying it-â¢s not so good, and 16% calling it downright bad. However, 51% say the state of their personal finances remains excellent or good, while just over 36% rank their situation as not so good.
Nielsen Research has recently shown that over 85% of the global population
has used the Internet to make a purchase at one point or another, 50% of
Internet users have made an online purchase between December 2007 and
January 2008 and those whom participate in online shopping has increased to
875 million, 40% greater than the 2006 figure of 627 million. Moreover,
South Korea led with 99% of users having shopped on websites, followed by
97% of British and 97% of Germans. Correspondingly, South Korea led with
79% of users having shopped online since the beginning of December
followed by 76% of British. However, 67% of Swiss ranked third on the
global arena of consumers whom have shopped online since early December.
Among hot items, books were the most popular accounting for 41% of
clothing accounting for 36% while Videos, DVDs and Games accounted for 24%.
Nielsen Research operates in over 100 countries, providing survey
More consumer research singles out rising fuel prices as the real driver of reduced spending this year. The Nielsen Company found that 49% of U.S. consumers are reducing their spending to compensate for rising gas prices by combining shopping trips and errands, eating out less and staying home more often. Meanwhile, MD-based ChangeWave found that 60% of consumers surveyed said they had less money to spend during the holidays due to increased gas prices, and 44% of consumers reported they planned on spending less money on holiday gifts in 2007 as compared to the prior year. About 57% of those spending less say they’re trying to improve their personal finances by reducing debt and saving more money. Nearly every consumer category in the survey scored lower than a year ago in terms of spending going forward. The decline was led by restaurant spending, followed by travel/vacation, consumer electronics, durable goods and household repairs/improvements.
A new study has found that the heaviest online buyers represent 18% of buyers but drive 46% of online spending. The Nielsen/NetRatings research also found that those spending the fewest dollars online and making the fewest purchases made up the majority, or 55% of online buyers, accounted for 21% of online purchases. Nielsen/NetRatings also noted that the “Most Valuable Purchasers” are also inordinately loyal to the retailers that they purchase from.
Online shoppers in the U.S. spent $16.7 billion during the first six weeks of the this year’s holiday season, rising 28% from the $13 billion spent online during the same timeframe in 2003. According to the “2004 eSpending Report,” music was the fastest growing category year-over-year in revenue during the first six weeks of the 2004 holiday season, jumping 33%. The video/DVD and jewelry categories tied for second place, surging 32% each. Rounding out the top five fastest growing categories, the books category increased 27%, while the toys/video games category grew 22%. The “eSpending Report” by Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen//NetRatings is based on a weekly national survey of more than 1,000 adult consumers.
Bank of America is introducing a new feature to its Online Banking, enabling customers to transfer money instantaneously from their personal checking, savings, line of credit, or credit card accounts to other B of A personal deposit account customers. Bank of America executive Sanjay Gupta suggests that parents of college students will find the online transfers to be especially convenient as well as those who need to send money to family or friends within B of A’s coast to coast network. Bank of America serves 33 million consumers in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia. To access the new feature, consumers can register for free Online Banking at the Bank of America Web site (http://www.bankofamerica.com/) and select the “Transfer Funds” option. This service is currently available to customers who have accounts in the Southeast, Southwest, and Midwest. Bank of America has over 11.7 million active Online Banking customers, the most customers in the industry.
Bank of America yesterday reported it has topped 7 million subscribers for its free online banking service, compared to 4.7 million at the beginning of the year. BofA also says the number of customers paying their bills online increased from 1.8 million to 3.0 million this year. BofA provides online bill payment services through CheckFree, which recently modified its contract due to the rapid growth of the service. For the second year in a row, Global Finance magazine recognized Bank of America as having the best consumer Internet bank site in the world. Jupiter Research ranked Bank of America No. 1 in its CORE rankings and Vividence ranked bankofamerica.com No. 1 in experience for customers and prospective customers. Meanwhile, U.S. Bank announced this week it is dropping its $4.95 monthly fee for its “Internet Bill Pay” for new or existing consumer checking accounts.
CheckFree and Bank of America have fine tuned their contract in the face of the rapid growth of BofA’s in online users. The terms of the agreement are intended to expand the relationship for the duration of the original ten-year contract, which runs through 2010. Among other items, there are adjustments to long-term service pricing. CheckFree says the new transaction-based pricing allows CheckFree and the bank to take advantage of economies of scale. However, CheckFree noted that, despite the contract changes, BoA’s minimum annual revenue commitments remain in place at $50 million per year. In the third quarter, more than 11 million consumers initiated online payments through services offered by CheckFree’s e-commerce division. EBPP is available through more than a thousand financial services organizations. About 300 billers participate. CheckFree delivers nearly 15 million e-bills each quarter.
Bank of America this week reported that the number of online banking subscribers has hit 6.2 million with 2.6 million who pay their bills online.
Egg France has extended its customer service offerings with the use of “KANA Response” software for incoming e-mail. Egg France launched its first product in France, la Carte Egg, in November, and in the first two months of the credit card’s availability, 69,000 customers applied. Egg France needed a scalable eCRM application to meet the needs of its growing customer base. “KANA Response” provides agent-assisted service with fast, high volume, intelligent, automated e-mail, Web and instant messaging request management.
Online banks reached more than 30% of the active Internet audience in five
major global markets in November. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, between
October 2001 and October 2002, the number of European surfers visiting
financial services sites grew from 15 to 25 million, while the percentage
of European Internet users who regularly visit a financial services site
steadily rose to 37%. On a country-by-country basis, online bank domains in
Sweden attracted the highest percentage of active users in November, with
more than half that country’s surfers visiting a bank or credit union site
and spending an average of more than an hour on those sites during the
month. Australia came in second with a market reach of 39.6% and France
came in third with a market reach of 38.7%