Friday, December 23, 2005

Dutch banks are moving (slowly)

Dutch banks are moving, slowly. Internet banking has been introduced for PCs. Mobile banking has been introduced, but has not yet caught on. Next item on the list is Internet banking for TV. With the cable operator rolling out 2 million settop boxes, The Dutch Rabobank makes TV banking a reality.

TV banking is not new. Microsoft knows everything about it as it did experiment with TV banking in Portugal in the project TVCabo from 2001. Before this project left the laboratory phase, TV banking was tried out and the user reactions surveyed. This user survey was very interesting as it proved that people were doing their money business in front of a television.

I hardly can imagine that a family is going to sit on the couch and is going through the statements and payments. Of course educationally it might be interesting; on the other hand you would not like to show your kids the red figures.

Interesting is the development of the Rabobank of CommunityTV. This is a local TV platform for the bank, but also for an insurance company and other companies. Rabobank will use this platform for video communication between the user and the bank. Users can request video contact with one of the consultants of the bank by webcam or teleportation, a new kind of video conferencing (teleportation is being trialled by the other Dutch bank ABN AMRO).

I have been e-banking for a long time. In fact it has been almost 20 years that I stood in a queu in order to pick up some money. Soon I will be able to talk to the bankmanager. That will be a shock for him: people will not come to him, but he will have to link up with them.

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