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Nationwide, which launched the UK's first retail internet banking service four years ago, today announced it is to conduct a pilot of its planned WAP phone banking service.

The mobile phone service is being trialled by 250 members ahead of the full launch this summer, and follows a successful in-house testing programme involving almost 100 Nationwide employees.

Nationwide's WAP banking service will enable members with a current account and supported phone to:

- View account balances and their last 12 transactions;

- Transfer money between Nationwide accounts;

- View and make bill payments;

- Order a new or replacement "PIN" number.

About 80% of online banking members visiting the Nationwide website (www.nationwide.co.uk) do so to carry out one or more of the above transactions.

The WAP service will also be accessible to members with a Nationwide credit card or savings accounts registered for internet banking (see notes to editors). Initially, supported phones are the Nokia 7110, 6210 and 6250.

It is estimated that, by the year 2003, more people will access the internet via portable devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile phones than standalone PCs (source: Gartner).

Jim Willens, Nationwide's e-commerce director, said: "Adding WAP banking underlines the commitment to making our products and services accessible to members through as many channels as possible.

"The full launch will take place this summer with the exact date to be determined by the feedback we get from members participating in this pilot."

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Notes to editors:

Photographs illustrating the WAP banking service can be downloaded from the Nationwide Media Centre at http://www.nationwide.co.uk/mediacentre/photolibrary.asp. Alternatively, telephone the press office on 01793 655198.

Nationwide launched the UK's first retail internet banking service in May 1997 and Europe's first banking service for PDAs operating on the Microsoft Pocket PC platform in December 2000. About 700,000 Nationwide members are registered for internet banking.

Members registered for internet banking can also access their accounts via Nationwide branches, post and telephone. A full internet TV banking service will also be launched this summer. You can register for internet banking on the Nationwide website, in branches and over the telephone.

Nationwide's WAP banking service will be accessible through all UK mobile phone networks. Users dial-up servers at Nationwide, rather than access the service through a WAP portal site.

- Credit card

Nationwide credit cardholders will be able to view their account balance, credit limit and last 12 transactions via the WAP banking service.

- Savings accounts

Members with passbook-based CashBuilder, Smart, Smart2Save and Instant Access ISA investment accounts will be able to view balances and their last 12 transactions.

In addition, those with the card-based versions of these accounts, plus InvestDirect and e-Savings, will be able to transfer money between Nationwide accounts and order PINs.


For further details, please telephone:

Peter Brown, senior press officer, telephone 01793 655423
peter.brown@nationwide.co.uk

Jennifer Stoddart, senior press officer, telephone 01793 655203
jenniferm.stoddart@nationwide.co.uk


This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Nationwide Building Society in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.