Banks Put It on the Line for PC Clients; PERSONAL FINANCE

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), April 20, 1997 | Go to article overview

Banks Put It on the Line for PC Clients; PERSONAL FINANCE


Byline: STEPHEN ELLIS

BANKING from home by computer takes two steps forward tomorrow with new services from Barclays and Citibank.

Citibank is launching real-time computer banking that mirrors the sophisticated systems it offers customers in America.

Barclays is starting a two-tier service. It will allow customers to link directly from home computers to the bank for account information and carry out transactions via modems.

It will also offer the Microsoft Money program. This allows PC users to manage their finances from home and links to the bank to carry out transactions.

Mike McManus, managing director of current and savings accounts at Barclays, believes a million customers could be running their accounts from home by the turn of the century.

`For the past two years more personal computers have been sold than televisions,' says McManus. `Sadly, most people still under-use their computers, but research shows that many would be keen to use them for home banking.

`Barclays is determined to stay in the forefront of home banking and we are considering a third option, banking via the Internet, as soon as we are happy about security aspects.'

This system involves signing up with a network provider which makes a monthly charge. However, customers are able to take advantage of other Internet services.

Royal Bank of Scotland will offer a fully fledged on-line banking service via the Internet before the end of June. Its plans for an Internet service have been checked by expert companies Zergo and Admiral, which carry out security work for the Ministry of Defence. They are convinced it is secure.

Tony Schofield, managing director of retail banking at RBS, says: `All customer data is scrambled to ensure privacy and it cannot be added to, deleted, replayed or tampered with.

`The Internet will play an increasingly important role in the lives of many of our customers. Already 11% of adults in the UK use it. It is estimated that 80% of European banks will provide a full banking service over the Internet within three years.'

Nationwide building society is also seeking to expand its home computer banking service to the Internet. …

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