HSBC is reporting a dramatic surge in the use of Web banking services by its UK business customers, with online transactions rising 500% to 10.6 million over the past year.
HSBC says UK businesses are cashing in on the time savings and efficiency of broadband technology to use online services, which is turning the Web from a niche service into a standard banking platform.
Citing research from the Small Business Research Trust, HSBC says almost two-thirds of Internet-connected firms now have a broadband connection.
The value of payments made by HSBC's 270,000 Internet registered UK small business clients grew by 290% to nearly £10 billion from 2003 to 2004. The bank is currently processing more than one million Internet payments a month through its online service.
Simon Wainwright, head of business banking at HSBC Bank, says: "UK businesses increasingly find online banking a fast and convenient way to carry out transactions and keep track of their finances, freeing up time to spend running the company. Last year, we processed over 10 million online payments for our business customers, three times the number in 2003."
Wainwright adds: "Businesses are waking up to the power of the net and seizing the opportunity to free up time and run their business on their terms. We're giving firms the tools to keep a tighter grip on their finances and to bank at their convenience."