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LINKS IN THIS SECTION

- Introduction
- Customer/Partner
Communication and Management Systems
- Payment Processing Services
- Certification and Security Services

RELATED SECTIONS

- Taxation of Offshore E-commerce
- Regulation of Offshore E-commerce
- Offshore Professional and Financial Services
- Offshore E-commerce Applications

If your company is thinking of offshore e-commerce then it is highly likely that your internet site and/or payment processing will be hosted in an IOFC (International Offshore Financial Centre). By and large, the most developed hosting facilities in offshore jurisdictions are offered by the incumbent telecommunications supplier(s). Until recently, this was often a monopoly (for example Cable and Wireless in many Caribbean jurisdictions) but there are now increasing numbers of competing suppliers in most jurisdictions. However, in locations in which competition is absent or limited, telecoms costs can be high.

Internet service provision is not usually subject to monopoly restrictions, and in many jurisdictions a number of small, local ISPs have sprung up. They can provide usually only limited (or expensive) international connectivity, because they are dependent on the local telecoms operator for long-distance connections.

Choice of ISP or host is evidently a vitally important part of setting up offshore, since the ISP will be the sole link between your company and your clients. A number of important points need to be checked:

Good connectivity – this means that the ISP or host should have stable connections with a telecoms provider, using high quality equipment with spare bandwidth available. Ideally, back-up connections via a secondary telecom provider offer the best guarantee of 100% availability for your site. As noted above, this will be unachievable where there is a monopoly telecommunications provider.

Secure facilities – your business data will be stored at some stage on equipment at an ISP's facilities; if you are using co-location with a hosting service your own equipment, whether real or virtual, will be vulnerable along with the data itself. The host or ISP's premises, equipment and systems must therefore be secure.

Qualified personnel – the equipment and systems needed to provide ISP and hosting services are complex and require maintenance, not to mention ongoing development to stay abreast of Internet techniques; the ISP's staff must have the necessary skills, which may be in short supply in an IOFC.

Scalability – the expanding nature of e-commerce means that your site will probably grow; at least, you hope so. Your ISP or hosting partner should have room for growth in terms of physical space, equipment capacity and funding.

Jurisdictions vary in their suitability as locations for e-commerce operations; for further assistance with choosing a suitable jurisdiction please see the Location section in E-commerce Jurisdictions.

OFFSHORE E-COMMERCE FACILITIES

- Introduction - A quick overview of the tools, solutions and facilities needed by companies locating e-commerce or e-business operations in an offshore jurisdiction.
- Customer/Partner Communication and Management Systems - The front-end systems you will need to communicate with your customers or trading partners including sales and exchange tools.
- Payment Processing Services - How to offer efficient payment processing world-wide from an offshore jurisdiction.
- Certification and Security Services - Supporting e-commerce and e-business services with certification and security facilities from an offshore jurisdiction.


 

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