Despite the skepticism surrounding banking via interactive digital television (iDTV), UK bank Abbey National has proven that it hasn’t given up on the technology. It has updated its iDTV service on Sky Active. Updates include changes to the programming language, number of pages and the branding of the site. Other banks are likely to follow Abbey’s lead.
Abbey National has updated its iDTV banking service on the Sky Active TV service.
iDTV-based banking has never really caught on in the UK. Critics argue that inappropriate perceptions, a lack of understanding and technological limitations have prevented consumers from banking via their televisions. The television is perceived as a device in front of which people relax and ‘switch off’ rather than concentrate and ‘turn on’, the latter being behavior more commonly associated with banking via the Internet.
Indeed, Datamonitor has found that only 13% of UK consumers already owning digital TV plan to use it for banking or broking activities over the next 12 months. Elsewhere in Europe, where iDTV roll-out is often behind that in the UK, consumer opinions suggests even lower levels of planned usage.
Abbey National’s iDTV update may help stir some interest in banking via iDTV. The service will now allow users to continue viewing the broadcast stream in a quarter of the screen whilst they browse the Abbey National service in the other three-quarters. The update will also lead to a reduction in content from 120 pages to 20 and a move towards general product and service information, with telephone numbers being provided to allow users to access more detailed information.
The changes made to Abbey National’s service therefore seem to reflect the fact that users want to ‘dip-in and dip-out’ quickly when using iDTV and don’t necessarily want to carry out transactions but rather search for basic, easily accessible information. Other iDTV banking providers would do well to follow Abbey National’s lead. The future of iDTV banking may depend on it.
Related research: Datamonitor, New Channels in Financial Services (DMFS1468)
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