NatWest is launching an online banking service early in January,
following the completion of a two-year PC home banking trial. It will
allow customers to access personal, business and credit card
But a spokesman for the company said it has decided not to offer the
service via the internet because customers indicated that they would not
use it because of the risk of people hacking into their bank
The service will operate instead via a direct link telephone line and
modem hooked up to a PC.
The Royal Bank of Scotland, the Nationwide, and Lloyds TSB have all
launched banking services via the internet.
Barclays also launched internet banking, but because of security
concerns only offered a very limited service. Midland bank has so far
NatWest is aiming the service at its personal and small-business
customers and will market it in branches via point of sale material
created by incumbent agency TBWA GGT Simons Palmer.
Customers will be able to carry out a number of basic transactions, such
as transferring cash, setting up bill payments, ordering statements and
cheque books and downloading information on to financial management
This will be backed up by a round-the-clock freephone helpdesk
NatWest has been trialing the service since October last year among 2000
personal and business customers, some of whom are now migrating to the
The service will cost personal account holders pounds 30 a year charged
in arrears and business users pounds 55 a year.
Access to the service will be via a telephone line with calls charged at
local rates, although the bank will supply the computer software free.