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Nationwide banks with IBM

LONDON: IBM and Nationwide, the world's biggest building society, have launched a new interactive online banking service.

Nationwide says its customers will benefit from an improved banking experience which uses simplified language and navigation tools, making using the online bank quicker and easier. They will also be able to use new interactive features to help manage their finances, such as calendar and graph tools to compare their income against spending and track account balances over time, and improved sorting and filtering of statements.

"Today's consumers have high expectations for functionality and content," says Richard Searle, Head of Channel Integration at Nationwide. "We wanted to deepen our relationship with our customers and knew that investing in the internet channel would be a highly efficient way to achieve those aims. Employees and members alike are delighted with the results, so the project has been a major success in every way."

IBM stresses how much customer input has gone into designing Nationwide's new internet bank, starting from the earliest vision, testing ideas with customers to understand what was most important for them in the new online bank.

The conversation with customers continued throughout the life of the programme, including analysis of the type of language used, navigation of the new system and streamlining the most common activities. The solution has been designed based on input from 1,250 customers and tested with over 2,600 Nationwide employees.

"Digital channels are the battle grounds for retail banks and IBM is committed to working with our clients to find new ways to improve the customer experience whilst ensuring efficiency and competitiveness," said David Terry, IBM Nationwide Programme Director, IBM Global Business Services, UK & Ireland. "Nationwide's new online banking system combines innovative technology and simplicity to create a solution that meets the needs of customers in today's competitive market place.

"Major investments in new technology can often be derailed by a change in vision or the benefits diluted. By structuring our approach to give customers a voice from the start, we were able to build and maintain confidence in our vision and avoid costly late change," added Terry.

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