Independent financial advisors are still shying away from using the internet as a platform to deliver services to customers, a new survey has found.
Up to 50% of the IFAs surveyed by broadband providers BT Openworld said security worries over confidential or customer sensitive data was the main hindrance to using the internet as a business tool.
According to BT Openworld, IFAs that trade online can significantly improve the service they offer through increased speed of service. It said the installation of simple anti-virus software or by using a firewall would ensure online business could be done safely.
On a more positive note, nearly all IFAs have begun using the internet in their business and are ‘working smarter online’ such as undertaking electronic filing with the Inland Revenue.
Tony Harris, president of business internet services at BT Openworld said: ‘Smaller financial and accounting companies often lose out to the bigger players as consumers prefer to opt for the names they know. Using the internet, both as a research tool and as a customer channel, can helpthem provide a more personalised, accessible service to their clients.’