[June 1] In a bid to beat its competitors on the Internet,
Britain’s Nationwide Building
is offering 7 percent annual gross interest on a new online savings
facility called Nationwide e-Savings.
Having attracted nearly two hundred thousand users to its
retail Internet banking service, which it opened exactly
three years ago, the Nationwide promises to keep its e-Savings
interest rate at least half a percent above the base rate until
January 1, 2001.
Chief Executive Brian Davis claims Nationwide has one of the
most comprehensive Internet packages of any retail financial
“e-Savings is the next stage in our ongoing program to deliver
value and service through the Internet. And we will be continuing
to develop our services at an increasing rate — including WAP
and Internet-based TV — and intend to remain a leading provider
in the rapidly evolving electronic age,” said Davis.
One of the U.K’s largest financial institutions, the
Nationwide Building Society is offering e-Savings as part
of its FlexAccount current account. Existing Nationwide
members can apply for the account online if they do not
already have it.
Much of the publicity that has attended Internet banking
has gone to the “online-only” offerings, such as the
Prudential’s Egg. Yet one or two institutions with hundreds
of high street outlets — the Nationwide and Halifax building
societies among them — have found success online.
On the Internet, Nationwide members can obtain comprehensive
banking facilities, including current accounts, savings
accounts, mortgages, personal loans and credit cards. They
can make payments and transfers, check balances and statements,
set up standing orders and view direct debits.
Even customers without Internet access can use the system
via the 250 Internet terminals installed in the Nationwide’s
branches. Along with the banking services, users get access
to news, weather, sport, shopping, and financial information.