Following-up on a previous qualitative study carried out in 2006, as well as to complement its parallel eCommerce-related initiatives, the MCA felt the need to gauge developments amongst the different ’commercial operators’ in the field, assess whether the implementation of the 2006 recommendations has had any positive impact on the sector, identify any remaining or new barriers to the take-up of such services, and make new recommendations both to Government and public sector entities, the industry, as well as, constituted bodies, where appropriate.
Interviews were held with a number of eCommerce service enablers and drivers in the supply chain for the provision of online services such as suppliers of eCommerce solutions, commercial banks, ISPs, postal, courier and shipping service providers and communications service providers, as well as, online retailers. Ensuring mobile connectivity throughout the Maltese Islands and measures to keep costs of data transfer contained, were amongst the recommendations put forward by the participants in this exercise. The need for specialised eCommerce mentors was also called for. Whilst some respondents welcomed a more competitive postal market, others called for more service delivery controls on all delivery service providers to ensure a level playing field. Moreover, it was widely agreed that an educational campaign about the benefits of eCommerce and suggestions on how to mitigate risk with the aim of increasing eCommerce uptake should be on the Government’s agenda.
In addition, this study also highlighted the need for incentives to encourage consumers to resort to electronic payments and hence decrease the use of cheques and cash payments.