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Future of ecommerce - Ashfaque Shaikh - 02-13-2003

Well, ecommerce is here to stay. Companies are increasingly focusing their attention to it.
The metamorphosis from e-presence to e-marketing to e-commerce and incereasingly e-business has caught many offguards.
What do you think is the future of ecommerce?

- Cricketer - 02-21-2003

Dear Ashfaque

If u ask me about the situation of The 'e-' <img src=icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle> here in pakistan... the businesses are just getting aware of simply having a presence on the net... let alone have a full blown e-commerce strategy!

The other thing i see is that the people at the helm of affairs are too much into self-praising (ie the government) about whatever efforts they have done. And the problem with IT companies in the private sector who should be the main driving force behind this so-called evolution/revolution is that instead of making businesses aware of the true potential of e-commerce .... they are simply trying to make a quick buck out of it.

- Ashfaque Shaikh - 02-22-2003

I generally agree with your opinion.
However, I think that companies have started realising the potential of ecommerce and electronic data interchange (EDI).
For example, there are many banks which are offering remote account management in the world since early 90s and a lot of companies are using these facilities for their treasury departments.
In Pakistan, I understand MCB started something like that... perhaps very primitive. I am not sure at what point it is now e.g. is B2B EDI allowed. Then you have Habib bank offering ebanking.
Then you have the citibank offering its ecard.
Things are rolling albeit slowly.
Apart from Bureaucratic red-tapism and self praise on generally nonissues, I think one of the main hurdles is that the driving force behind ecommerce at consumer level is credit cards. In our country these are still a symbol of status than a means of undertaking financial transactions for individuals. At corporate level, we still believe in cheque system whereas in a lot of European countries, it is discontinued and even banks are discouraging cheques. Transfers are increasingly by wire/SWIFT/remote account management, in europe a new bank account code system IBAN is being implemented which will harmonise account numbers for electronic processing.
So the future is bright. We will embrace ecommerce by desire or by force as more and more international transactions are undertaken electronically.

- Cricketer - 02-22-2003

I was just commenting on the general business environment in Pakistan.

Yes, i do recognize that there is a growing awareness in Pakistan, especially in the banking sector, but before any such endeavor could be taken up by the banks, proper legistlation is also required to strengthen the hands of the banks going forward inthis direction. In the early and mid-90's with the advent of internet, western governments realized the potential of this medium and accordingly created appropriate legistlation. Sadly, although our government loves to blow its own trumpet, but it fails to provide appropriate legistlation.

As from what i've heard is, and hehehe... some of it is authentic insider info, although a lot has been splashed in the media about it, MCB and Habib Bank have yet to start remote account management through the internet. Check out the MCB and Habib Bank websites for more info. Yes, ATM facilities and services are being enhanced and within a year or two, we would even be able to buy a bakra through an ATM! <img src=icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle>

SWIFT and wire services are being used for a number of years now. hmmm ... would like to know more about IBAN... can u point out a few websites on this subject to me?

E-card is just a safety precaution introduced by the credit card companies in the light of the recent cases of misuse of credit card numbers by some of our Pakistani brethren. Its just a sort of a supplementary credit card which can be used over internet in place of the regular card.

- Ashfaque Shaikh - 03-03-2003

yes you are right
on legislation front, we are way behind the world. Generally speaking, legislators in our part of the world are more into other things than legislation itlsef.
Speaking of ecommerce, we dont have legislation on antidumping, GM-foods, consumer rights, environmental standards, abortion (I sense some raised eye brows), synthetic birth (IVF, donor cells etc. - you can argue who is doing), intellectual and copyrights etc, etc.
Even the laws of tort and liability are so weak that anyone can do anything.
We must give credit to ICAP with respect to 1-to-1 adoption of IAS (due to whatever reasons) so that in this respect, we are very closely following the international financial reporting community.
As for the IBAN, here is the link ( i hope u can get German!)
... for ATM thing, I hope we will be able to select the animal of our choice by previewing in ATM screens )

- Cricketer - 03-04-2003

Thnx for the url of the site. No problem with the german language. With the language tools of google, one can translate any website to english.

As regards as your ICAP wali baat, the only reason they decided to adopt IASes was they were too damned lazy to customize it for the Pakistani envirnoment <img src=icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle> ..... as in my view, they do require customization in a few areas.