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Cyprus: E-Commerce

Facilities

ISP and Hosting Services

Cyprus ISPs have included planitis.net, thunderworx.com, logos.net, avacom.net, CYTAnet, teledev.net and Spidernet.

On-Line Banking

Laiki eBank, launched by Laiki Bank in September 2000, was the first electronic bank in Cyprus to allow banking and stock market transactions via the Internet. Laiki eBank customers were able to trade securities on the CSE, track developments on the CSE and have a live update of their portfolio.

The Bank of Cyprus Internet Banking Service offers the following services:

  • Money Transfers (Between accounts, To 3rd party accounts held in Bank of Cyprus, To Other Banks and Co Operative Companies in Cyprus, Abroad) 
  • Account Balances 
  • Past Transactions 
  • Chequebook Ordering 
  • Statement Ordering 
  • Stop Payment of Cheque 
  • Utility Payments (CYTA,EAC) 
  • On-Line Securities Dealing

The cosy existence of traditional sources of information on the CSE has been threatened by newcomers to the field such as Stockwatch.com.cy, Cypria.com and Moneynet.com.cy, who offered equity prices and live ticker prices to all users.

And as if that wasn't enough, banks tried to get in on the act there as well, with the Bank of Cyprus announcing that it would offer CSE closing prices via its WAP services, and the Laiki Bank stating that it planned to offer CSE prices through the launch of the Laiki eBank

Another established force offering information on CSE prices was the giant multinational, Reuters. As a rival to AG Financial Network, Reuters was among the first to offer an extended service on the local stock market. Reuters offers its service either through its own satellite dishes or leased lines but also allows access through the Internet.

On-line Gambling

Online gambling in Cyprus has been permitted since the Betting Law of 2007, but the Cyprus government now plans to ban it, except on horse racing and sports in Cyprus. However SAKOP, a social organization, has pointed out that EU directives demand a public consultation and an impact study on possible repercussions, neither of which has been carried out.

The consultation process will now take place and opposition to the ban is already coming to light. President Demetris Christofias and his government party AKEL have insisted on an outright ban to combat social problems, but others argue that a ban could not be implemented effectively and it is better to regulate gaming activity in order to collect the tax revenues it could generate.

House Legal Affairs Committee chairman, Ionas Nicolaou, has disclosed government estimates that turnover in the Cyprus online gambling market turnover was EUR2.5bn (US$3bn) in 2008, yielding a gross profit of EUR400m. The government says that by 2012 turnover could be as high a EUR5bn and gross profit nearly EUR1bn.

Techlink Entertainment Ltd President John Xidos was quoted by the Sunday Mail as saying: “The biggest problem we see is ... where there is no legal gambling, there is a ton of illegal gambling. The two big issues are that government needs to have full control in order to eliminate corruption, and the players need to have full control in order to control their gambling expenditure”.

Techlink is a supplier of responsible gaming technology which facilitates full control and regulation of electronic games of chance.

Nevertheless, in November 2011, it emerged that the government was discussing a new anti-e-gambling law under which those offering illegal e-gambling services would face 10 years jail time and a fine of up to EUR500,000.

 

 

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