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Cahoot: 3G or iDTV "not for banking"

Antony Adshead
Online bank Cahoot has dismissed the possibility of interactive digital TV (iDTV) and third-generation (3G) mobile technology becoming significant channels for Internet banking.

Speaking at last week's Internet World show at Earl's Court in London, Tim Sawyer, Cahoot's marketing director, said iDTV and 3G would remain largely media for entertainment. He set out Cahoot's strategy of a future of "digital banking" including using cash machines, the Web, mobile (text and Wap), contact centres and interactive voice response, but said the group would adopt a "watch and wait" attitude to iDTV and 3G services.

"Digital TV will not be all dominant - it ain't gonna happen. The PC is a 'lean-forward' technology and iDTV is 'lean-back', suitable for entertainment and maybe e-mail. It will have its place, but not for banking," said Sawyer.

"Likewise, 3G will be no panacea for banking. The 3G revolution - if indeed there is one - will see the technology largely used for video clips and gaming.

"Do people really want to do business on such a small screen when they have branches, the PC or the phone?" he asked.

Despite this, Sawyer added that the online bank had engaged with iDTV providers and was ready to act, although he described its likely use of the channel as a "loss-leader".

On 3G he said the group was adopting a cautious attitude but had something prepared and was "ready to move".

Cahoot is the online arm of the Abbey National group.

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