Financial services sector among top IT users: ABS

20 June 2014

Businesses in the Australian financial services and insurance sector are among the countries top users of IT, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

The ABS’s Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2012-13 report found that the financial services sector was among the top industries in the countries for conducting business online, with 57.2 per cent of companies having placed orders over the internet in 2012-13, compared to 53.4 per cent across all sectors. 

The report also showed that almost 60 per cent of financial services businesses had an online presence in 2012-13, compared to 47.2 per cent of all businesses overall. 

The ABS data found that the proportion of businesses that received orders via the internet during 2012-13 was 30 per cent, with income obtained from these orders totalling an estimated $246 billion. 

While the figures showed that the majority of companies in the financial services sector have an online component to their businesses, Paul Resnik, co-founder of FinaMetrica, said there was “no excuse” not to have a web presence. 

“Whereas almost 100 per cent of all big businesses, or those with 200 or more employees, had a web presence, 60.3 per cent of those with five to 19 employees were online in 2012-13 and 35.9 per cent of businesses with zero to four employees,” he said.  

“With a website costing as little as $1 a month to build and host, there is no excuse for any business not being online today.   

“Beyond that, it doesn’t cost much more to have e-commerce capabilities, which cut out the need for sales teams and physical transactions, which can be costly and unproductive. Any small or medium-sized business serious about competing with big companies needs to maximise their online offer in order to build market share. 

“Indeed, FinaMetrica conducts all its transactions through the internet. We are a small Australian-based financial services business exporting our services globally through internet sales. We provide an online test which enables financial advisors to measure the financial risk tolerance of their clients and better match investments to investors’ needs.  

“Budgeted international sales for next year will be in excess of 80 per cent of our total revenue, reflecting strong interest in FinaMetrica’s solution to investment suitability problems revealed by the 2007-08 global financial crisis.” 

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