Smaller banks have been advised not to offer services through interactive digital television (iDTV), according to a recent report.
The Big Banks Dominate iDTV report by Forrester Research stated that only big UK banks will be able to make such services cost effective.
"Britain's consumers need several more years of watching enhanced TV programmes, playing TV games and responding to broadcast ads before they get used to banking or applying for financial products through the TV," said Benjamin Ensor, senior analyst at Forrester.
The Nationwide Building Society has been offering interactive TV banking since last autumn, but has chosen not to host its services on Sky, NTL or Telewest because of the fees the operators charge.
"Cost remains the reason we are not going onto Sky, NTL or Telewest. It is too expensive in terms of return on investment," said Steve Gibbs, electronic access and design controller at Nationwide.
"We have not discounted these operators but, to make it viable, we would have to see the potential of a greater return on investment," he said.
The news is a further blow to iDTV services as it follows the decision by retailers Argos and Woolworths to pull the plug on sales through Sky Digital interactive TV earlier this month.
The poor returns from walled-garden iDTV mean that UK firms should use it as part of a multi-channel approach, according to Forrester.
The channel is not ideally suited to conveying complex information, like mortgages. Financial firms are advised to use it to complement other channels like the post or High Street branches, Forrester added.
Use of iDTV will gradually grow from today's 11 million users to more than 21 million UK adults by 2004, according to Forrester, but TV banking will only reach 2.2 million users by 2004.
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