New Zealand's ASB Bank is trialling a "virtual branch" on facebook where people can "talk" to staff about their finances.
The bank has introduced an application that lets customers and non-customers chat securely and privately in real-time to its staff seven days a week from 8am to 9pm.
ASB says its facebook branch - a world first - is designed to cater to the growing number of New Zealanders using social media.
It's launch comes around a year after the bank opened a Twitter account, which has "become an invaluable channel for us to interact with our online communities" according to Anna Curzo, general manager, Internet banking.
She says that the new "branch" is expected to compliment ASB's existing FastNet Internet banking services, which will remain the primary channel for most e-transactions.
"Our ASB Virtual Branch will work alongside FastNet by providing confidential banking advice on a range of products and services. Customers will be able to chat with our dedicated team about any issues - from home loan options, to simple savings tips, or how to access foreign currency for an overseas trip," says Curzo.