Bank by statements text

14 September 2004
Barclays has announced it is to become the first high street bank to offer statements by text message.

Customers will receive weekly account balances listing their last five transactions, as well as a red alert when they are about to go overdrawn - something which could save them £25 a time.

Other text options include the ability to receive a message when large sums of money, such as salaries or mortgage payments, have cleared.

This week Barclays will write to some 6,000 customers offering them the opportunity to take part in a pilot of this text messaging system.

If it proves successful the scheme will be rolled nationally to all its 11 million personal customers during the course of next year.

The service will be free to personal customers while small businesses will be charged a monthly fee of between £3 and £5.

First Direct, the telephone bank, was the first to launch such a service. So far 400,000 of its 1.1 million customers have signed up for the service.

A spokesperson for First Direct said: "Some customers like to know the minute their pay cheque goes in or their mortgage payment out. But they can set it up, online if they wish, to give them whatever information they require."

Abbey's internet bank, Cahoot, offers a similar service but the take-up for this has been less successful, with only 30,000 of its 650,000 customers so far opting for the service.
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