The convenience of shopping online is quickly overtaking consumer security concerns, with recent reports showing a 600 per cent increase in the number of Australians buying online in the last three years.
The figures generated by Internet measurement company Red Sheriff are confirmed by Camtech's latest figures for the last quarter which show a 25 per cent increase in online merchants and a 72 per cent increase in the volume of transactions across its payment gateway.
"Our channel partner program is starting to bear fruit," says Camtech CEO, Bruce Linn. "We will continue to focus on increasing high-value channel partners. We have about 150 at the moment and predict that the number will stabilise at a couple of hundred."In turn, Camtech partner Murchison Productions says the company has signed up its largest number of online merchants over the last three months. "We are expecting to double that next quarter," says Jack Barker, Murchison business development manager.
Camtech is positioning itself to pick up the fallout from the online boom which, according to analyst IDC, will see over 183 million consumers buying goods and services online by 2003. This translates into $1 trillion in online purchases.
"The predictions for future online spending patterns are incredible," says Linn. "However, there is still some resistance [to online purchasing] because of security scares. We aim to alleviate these concerns with the security the Camtech e-commerce payment gateway provides."Linn believes that the acceptance of e-commerce in Australia has been a long, hard haul. "We have a painfully slow growth in transaction uptake and are way behind the American market," he says. "But people are hearing more about it and this is contributing to a general uptake in people's minds. There is no one industry which is benefiting from this growth above others. e-payment companies are very excited about the current growth figures because this is the first time a quarter has shown a sharp uptake." According to Camtech, 60 per cent of all online merchants in Australia currently use e-payment solutions, including dot-com brands travel.com.au and greengrocer.com.au. Camtech's clicks-and-mortar customers include the Commonwealth Bank, St George, Westpac, ANZ, NAB and BankWest.