Lloyds TSB offers cable-based interactive banking

Lloyds TSB has rolled out its first full interactive TV banking service, but it is only available to customers who subscribe to...

Lloyds TSB has rolled out its first full interactive TV banking service, but it is only available to customers who subscribe to Telewest cable services.

"We are not doing a full splash in terms of launch," said Ned Garnett, senior project manager responsible for interactive TV at Lloyds TSB. "We want to see customer reaction and how it operates."

Garnett would not discuss future projects, beyond saying, "we are looking broadly at the Internet channel."

When the bank began developing the project early last year, it had to decide whether to opt for cable or more open satellite technology. It was initially looking at NTL as well as Telewest. However, Cable & Wireless acquired NTL and, according to Garnett, its future technology message has since become confusing.

The new Lloyds TSB service has the potential to reach 400,000 customers. While the bank is reluctant to disclose exact penetration figures, Garnett said it has received a "significant" number of registrations.

The new service enables eligible users to access their current and savings accounts, view balances and check their last five transactions. Customers can also transfer funds between Lloyds TSB accounts and pay bills to pre-defined third parties.

Building society Nationwide also recently announced an Internet TV banking service, although transactional capability has yet to be delivered.

Peter Brown, Nationwide spokesperson said, "With our service you can nip to Asda, buy a set top box and plug it into your phone line. The service we are planning is accessible and open."

However, Lloyds TSB believes it has obtained an edge by initially developing for cable. "The cable technology is far superior to open [systems]. For a start the bandwidth is much better than it is with open," Garnett said.

Emma Nash

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