The Nationwide building society launched what it claims to be the first UK Internet banking service last week for its FlexAccount holders.
The service will allow Nationwide customers to access their accounts 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world.
Nationwide's announcement comes just one week after Barclays and NatWest delayed their on-line banking services for fear of security breaches (see PC Week 3 June).
Customers who use Nationwide'ssystem will be greeted by a security check on the site, which requires a password and customer number before any transactions can be made. Then there are several layers of security, which, claimed Nationwide, will protect customers from unauthorised attacks.
Asked how Nationwide could guarantee security when Barclays and NatWest felt they could not, a company spokesman said: "Obviously I cannot talk about NatWest and Barclays, but the security of our customers' information is, of course, our highest priority and we are using encryption software to ensure it is safe."
Even in the worst-case scenario, Nationwide is confident that the worst a hacker could do is move money from one account to another, or possibly pay a bill earlier than usual. The spokesman added: "This is geared up to be a very safe system; we're confident our security measures are secure."
Nationwide has been testing its on-line service with modems for 18 months with over 24,000 customers and will be phasing the new service in gradually to its FlexAccount customers.
Nationwide: Internet banking services
What you can do
Up to the minute balance of account
Pay bills over the web
Get a mini statement with last 12 transactions
Transfer money into other Nationwide accounts
Order a postal statement
And there's a ...
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