Abbey National has joined Halifax in ditching its WAP-based mobile banking service, according to a report on UK computer news site The Register. It is also scrapping its digital TV service, due to lack of interest among customers.
The Register quotes a letter to customers from the UK bank: "As a valued user of our e-banking service we are sorry to inform you that from June 30th we will no longer provide this service through our digital TV and WAP channels. Following a review of our on-line services we have decided to focus our efforts on continuing to deliver and further improve our popular Internet e-banking service.
"This means the e-banking service on the Sky, Telewest and NTL digital television platforms, as well as on Orange and O2 WAP mobile phones, will no longer be accessible after 30th June 2003."
Of the 1.6 million registered users of the Abbey's Internet banking services "very few, it would be measured in low thousands" ever used either digital TV and WAP-based banking, an Abbey spokeswoman told The Register. With little customer interest in expensive-to-maintain channels, it makes more sense for Abbey to focus it efforts elsewhere, she added.
News of the closure comes just a day after Halifax announced plans to discontinue its WAP banking service in the face of declining customer interest.