Fujitsu has won an eight-year contract to provide computer system upgrades for the delivery of electronic banking services via the UK Post Office branch network.
The Post Office says the upgraded system will result in cost savings of £150 million over the life of the contract and is vital to the extension of banking services and the acceptance of debit cards over the counter from April 2003.
The Post Office currently provides manual banking services for seven UK banks: Alliance & Leicester; Barclays; cahoot; the Co-operative Bank; Lloyds TSB; smile; and first direct (in Scotland only). From 1 April 2003, Alliance & Leicester customers will be able to check their account balance, withdraw cash, and pay in money using the upgraded system in real time. Basic bank account holders at most of the UK's major banks will also be able to access their accounts at Post Office branches from the same day.
Fujitsu's contract, which entails the extension of broadband technology across the Post Office network, runs concurrent with a back-end electronic payments deal that was signed between the PO and EDS early last year.