The UK?s Barclays Bank has partnered with BT to enter the free Internet access market with online banking and stockbroking services.
Barclays.net, which was launched on Tuesday, will be available to all of the bank?s customers from any of its high street outlets, from its Web site or by phone from the middle of April.
Barclays is the first partner BT has found to sign up to its Click service, which last month went from charging a penny a minute for calls to a free service dubbed Clickfree (see VNU Newswire, 9 February, 1999).
After bowing to consumer demand for a free service, BT now appears to have accepted that many customers prefer to get their free Internet access from a well known high street brand. And by teaming with one of the top four banks, which has 14 million customers to boot, it hopes to gain a much needed new user base for Clickfree.
A spokesperson for BT said this was the first of many such deals, but by signing up to Barclays.net, customers get five free email addresses, content and a search capability from Excite UK, free Internet banking for personal customers, free access to Barclays? Stockbrokers Sharedeal service and a chargeable helpline service.
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