With visits to its Internet banking site passing the one million mark for the first time in February, Allied Irish Bank is taking steps to encourage further uptake by paying interest on the current accounts of customers who use direct channels.
From June, any customer using AIB's phone and internet banking service will be paid interest of ½% on current account credit balances up to €1000. At the same time, free transaction banking, which is currently offered to customers with a credit balance in excess of €500, will no longer be available except for students and the over 60s.
For customers who pay transaction fees, the new interest payments can reduce their cost of banking by an average of 10%, says the bank. The average weekly cost of banking, for AIB's personal customers, is €1
The bank says it will introduce a fully automated account for customers who have a low transaction requirement in the Summer.
John Hickey, general manager retail banking, AIB says: "AIB has an unrivalled distribution network in Ireland with our 286 branches, 450 ATM machines, our partnership with 1000 Post Offices, and our phone and Internet banking services."
In February 2003, AIB's Internet banking service hosted over 1.1 million personal banking visits, doubling the number of impressions received in the previous year.
During February, 155,000 customers used the AIB online personal banking service seven times on average, generating more than 300,000 payments and 1.3 million online statements of bank and credit card accounts. This is the equivalent of up to 13 million visits to the bank in a year.
David Roberts, senior manager, AIB e-pusiness & Payments team, comments: "The rapid increase in usage of our online service is indicative of the convenience and control that it offers customers to manage their money effectively."