If you are too busy to organise your own life, a Natwest bank "virtual digital assistant" will do it for you for #5 a month.
The high street bank has recruited 5,000 customers to trial its information gathering service, code named Zenda, for six months. Zenda will put together everything from news and sports results to travel updates and financial reports, making them available to customers by telephone, fax or e-mail.
As well as providing information, Zenda will act as a diary, to-do list and help people remember key dates such as birthdays. It can also recommend restaurants, although at the moment the service does not have a reservation facility.
?It is basically for people who are money rich and time poor who want someone to take the hassle away,? explained Tim Jones, managing director of Natwest?s banking services, who developed Zenda.
Natwest is looking at Web-based versions of the service together with messages through pagers and cash-machines, if the trial proves successful.
In addition it may expand the service into dealing with major life events such as organising weddings and moving house, for which there would be additional charges.
Users need not be Natwest customers, but those who are will be able to access their accounts through the service.
Among those initially providing data for the service include the Press Association, Reuters, Railtrack, the Automobile Association, Financial Times Electronic Publishing and Exchange and Mart.
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