write:People today purchase everything from toothpaste to cars and diamond rings online. E-commerce in the B2B sector is even larger than it is in the B2C marketplace. Retail sales via o

and Mobile Commerce Technology 8.2 Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerceDuring the late 1990s
the idea of purchasing things online was still a novel concept. People who purchased books and other low-priced items from websites were seen as innovators. Nowadays
shopping for things online and finding the best deal by comparing online prices with those in brick-and-mortar stores are common consumer behaviors. In the past decade
the variety of goods and services available through e-commerce sites has skyrocketed. If you look through older textbooks in the IT field
you will find authors predicting that e-commerce will only be successful with low-priced consumer goods. But we now know that this is simply not the case. People today purchase everything from toothpaste to cars and diamond rings online. E-commerce in the B2B sector is even larger than it is in the B2C marketplace.Retail sales via online channels
financial services
travel services
and digital products (e.g.
music- and movie-streaming services) are widely popular forms of B2C commerce. The most well-known B2C site is Amazon.com
whose IT developments received U.S. patents that keep it ahead of competition. Many of these are described in IT at Work 8.1.Several of the leading online service industries are banking
trading of securities (stocks
and employment
and real estate services.Online BankingOnline banking includes various banking activities conducted via the Internet instead of at a physical bank location. Online banking
also called direct banking
offers capabilities ranging from paying bills to applying for a loan. Customers can check balances and transfer funds at any time of day. For banks
it offers an inexpensive alternative to branch banking. Transaction costs are about 2 cents per transaction versus $1.07 at a physical branch.Most brick-and-mortar conventional banks provide online banking services and use e-commerce as a major competitive strategy. Customers are aware that if they bank exclu-sively with a brick-and-mortar institution
they may be missing out on high-paying investment options or competitive loan rates that easily undercut those of many traditional banking entities. For an illustration of how online banks operate differently than traditional banks
see IT at Work 8.2.International and Multiple-Currency BankingInternational banking and the ability to handle trading in multiple currencies are critical for international trade. Electronic fund transfer (EFT) and electronic letters of credit are impor-tant services in international banking. An example of support for e-commerce global trade is provided by TradeCard (tradecard.com). TradeCard offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model that provides supply chain collaboration and a trade finance compliance platform.Although some international retail purchasing can be done by giving a credit card number
other transactions may require cross-border banking support. For example
Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) has developed a special system
to provide online banking in 60 countries. Using this system
the bank has leveraged its reputation and infrastructure in the developing economies of Asia to rapidly become a major international bank without devel-oping an extensive new branch network.Online RecruitingMost companies and government agencies advertise job openings
accept rŽsumŽs
and take applications via the Internet. The online job market is especially effective and active for technology-oriented jobs. While sites such as dice.com and monster.com can still be Electronic fund transfer (EFT) A transfer of funds from one bank account to another over a computerized network.


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