Nationwide has expanded its online banking offering and confirmed that its Internet access service will be free from August.
The building society, which was responsible for the UK's first online banking service in 1997, claims that the enhancements will enable customers to conduct more banking and personal finance online than any other single financial provider in the UK.
It is not now essential to have a Nationwide current account to take advantage of the service. Customers with Nationwide InvestDirect, CashBuilder or Smart Account (savings accounts) are now able to manage their accounts online. Customers will be able to apply online for mortgages, loans, credit cards, savings and current accounts. They will also be able to pay bills and keep an up to date tab on balances.
At the same time, the building society said its ISP service will be available free of charge from August.
Since 1998, Nationwide has been operating a paid for ISP service available only to its own customers and priced at £7.50 per month for unlimited access. This service will now go free and will be available to anyone. Free CD-ROMs will be given away in Nationwide branches. The telephone helpdesk will be charged at 50p per minute.
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