HSBC banks on success of new mobile offering

The bank and its First Direct division have rolled out a new mobile service aimed at giving customers greater access to account information on the move

Financial services giant HSBC has become the first bank to offer customers mobile banking facilities.

It will start inviting customers to join the new service, developed in conjunction with mobile banking specialist Monilink, Monitise and LINK, immediately.

Using the new service, HSBC customers, and those of its subsidiary First Direct, can take advantage of banking services, such as obtaining balance enquiries and mini statements in addition to checking if they're overdrawn, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"There are now more people with a mobile phone than a landline, making it the world's must-have communications device," said Chris Pilling, chief executive of first direct.

"The launch of MONILINK supports our drive to give customers the widest choice of ways to control their money. first direct was the first branchless bank in the UK. We are now the first to introduce this pioneering mobile phone banking service, which allows consumers to top up a mobile as well as check their account balance."

The underlying technology platform is the result of three-year collaboration between the LINK network and Morse Group division, Monitise. Earlier this year, it received a 'technology pioneer' accolade from the World Economic Forum for its innovation.

The service also doubles up as a pre-paid mobile phone top-up offering, provided the required software has already been installed on the mobile device.

It follows a precedent set by HSBC some seven years ago when first direct adopted text message banking. Today, the bank sends more than 48 million texts to customers annually.

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