Page 4: Current modes of buying/selling
The principal method of trading is by telephone. For example, Barclays Stockbrokers has a service known as ShareDeal which is ideal for the occasional transaction or for those frequent traders who prefer to hold their own certificates. A client can use the scheme simply by calling the local rate ShareDeal line and telling a stockbroker what he or she wants to buy or sell. The transaction is completed in a couple of minutes and the client is sent a contract note confirming the deal and advising them how to settle the transaction. Clients can also buy and sell in this way by using the post.
Barclays Stockbrokers is currently piloting the UK’s first real time, fully electronic broking site. The site will be accessible to anyone in the world with access to the World Wide Web. The registration and dealing service, however, is limited to people who are resident in the UK and over the age of 18 years. Clients will be required to complete various checks and provided they meet with certain criteria, they will then be allocated an Internet ID and a digital certificate that will be embedded in their browser. Clients are then able to deal during Stock Exchange opening times (9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays ) in UK equities only. Barclays Internet service will stand out from its competitors because it has a series of Unique Selling Propositions (USPs). For example:
- It will be the first real time on-line trading service on the Internet - differing from other sites which are simply a message service.
- Price will be confirmed by the user as they are on the Net.
- The service is very user-friendly and can be customised by the client.
- The service has the highest levels of security available from any stockbroker.
Under the first development phase of the new scheme, clients will be able to take advantage of the following services:
Registered clients will be allocated an Internet account for share dealing. They can then access the dealing screen and input details of their buy or sell order. Barclays Stockbrokers then quotes a firm dealing price to the client on-line, along with all charges and the net consideration. The client will have a period of 15 seconds to accept the price and confirm that he or she wishes to carry out the transaction. There will be on-screen confirmation of the bargain details, effectively an on-line contract note.
New issues and marketing information (BrochureWare)
Barclays Stockbrokers will be publishing facts and information on current new issues which clients can review.
This facility will provide information on Barclays Stockbrokers’ Internet services, as well as all other services and products offered by Barclays Stockbrokers.
Making the decision to launch the new Internet service
The move by Barclays Stockbrokers into Internet stockbroking is a logical step based on sound research. Developing a new product idea must always be based on intensive research and a clear understanding of future developments. There are a number of key factors which support the decision to move into Internet stockbroking. These include:
- The wide-scale growth in the number of households with access to the Internet in this country and overseas. World-wide Internet users, currently over 60 million, are expected to rise to 200m by the year 2000. In the UK, current estimates show 2 million Internet users.
- The strong correlation between the existing audience of Internet users and households already using Stock Exchange services.
- The growth in the number of people buying and selling shares on the Stock Exchange.
- The successful development of similar services in the United States and Japan.
- The potential threat of rivals starting up a similar service in this country.
Evidence from the research clearly shows that the time is right to develop the new Internet service. It is very much a consumer-driven initiative. In simple terms, there are a lot of existing and new customers who use the Internet as a means of buying and selling financial and other goods and services. Consumers seek the most convenient quality services. Having instant access to a stocks and shares trading service via their home computer is, therefore, a tremendous benefit. The speed and accuracy of Internet transactions also provides a unique opportunity for product improvement. It is a ‘stockbroking revolution’.