Egg banks on digital TV boom

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Egg banks on digital TV boom

Emma Nash
Five million people have either bought or used a financial service via the Web, according to research by the Mori group for Egg, the online bank.

Mori claimed the research showed that the UK population is now comfortable using financial services over the Internet. The company also predicted a boom in the uptake of financial services through digital TV.

One third of the UK population now has digital TV, with five million new subscribers coming online since September 2000.

This growth has prompted Egg to launch a digital TV service, Egg TV, towards the end of 2001. Egg believes digital TV will be the trigger to wide-scale Internet adoption.

"The proof will be in the pudding, but it [adoption] is quite likely to happen," said an Egg representative. "People who don't work in the office or work at all, or don't like using a PC - they'll be drawn by interactive TV."

But Henning Dransfield, a senior analyst at Ovum, was not convinced. "Digital TV has little or no access to the open Internet," he said. "It is very restrictive.".

Dransfield pointed to the failure of banks such as HSBC to deliver a flourishing TV banking service and warned that it would be years, rather than months, before true interactive TV becomes a reality.

"It's a slow process," he continued. "I wouldn't really expect the dynamics of Internet take up via the television and take up via the PC to change for at least three years."

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