Thursday, August 23, 2007

Where is

Having lambasted 'bricks and mortar' banks for their "second-rate" online customer service based on research findings from Transversal, it appears some online only banks are finding it difficult to keep their sites fully operational.

Tried logging onto Egg recently? Martin Stern, head of the authority on Internet and mobile performance,Keynote UK, issued an edict saying that, seemed to have disappeared from existence with customers unable to find the website anywhere.

So I decided to type Egg's domain name into a web browser, which resulted in a message from Firefox that it cannot find the web server at Egg. Having said that I logged onto again this afternoon and voila, the web site appeared., formerly owned by the Prudential, was one of the first wholly online banking sites to launch at the height of the Internet Gold Rush. Citi bought Egg from Prudential for more than $1 billion earlier this year. Citi has a wealth of online experience with its CitiDirect Online platform, but in this era of 24-hour round-the-clock online banking, any site down time can cause consternation amongst customers.

Stern had this to say about the need for online only banks to ensure round-the-clock availability:

"It is imperative that a company whose total business model is based on online presence manages to maintain consistent website performance. Online-only banks need to ensure their infrastructure performs above-and-beyond their multi-channel competitors and, given the much-lower operating costs of a branch-free model, their margins should be able to fund the building of a world-class online infrastructure."

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