e-Finance: Quo Vadis
Online Broking is emerging as another field where traditional service providers are likely to face tough competition from the Dot Coms. In Taiwan and Korea, 30% of the stock trading has already moved online. This is posing a threat to the traditional Full-Service Brokerages. By leveraging the power of the web, Charles Schwab has emerged as a major threat to Full-Service brokers like Merrill Lynch. In order to preempt the moves into these areas by new players, many Banks have already tied up with Online Brokerages.
The Banks have entered the e-trading business. Since many banks are also Depositary participants, they have tied up with e-traders so that a customer is able to buy or sell shares online and make and receive payments through the Net.
In India, HDFC Bank has tied up with Investsmart.com and is offering its services to all the clients of the brokerage. ICICI Bank has gone a step ahead and launched ICICIDirect.com. These banks have become exclusive providers of banking and depositary/custodial services to the clients of these online brokerages.
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