New Zealand's only locally-owned bank, TSB Bank, has joined the online rush - albeit quietly.
TSB Bank, which said in 1997 it had no plans to ever move online, launched the online version of its service in August, started promoting it quietly in January and plans a major push to promote the site soon.
"We're low key at the moment," says manager of information systems John Hollins. Access to the online banking package is via the "HomeBank" link at the bottom of the first page.
The site, and the bank itself, focuses on personal banking rather than business or corporate so the site excludes functionality found on other online banks’ sites, such as the ability to export transaction statements to a separate financial package, such as Intuit's Quicken or Microsoft Money.
"We have got an internal trial underway on that and we are considering rolling it out at some stage but honestly, we aren't hearing the demand for it," says Hollins. He says the take-up from customers has been good and it is bringing in new customers from outside Taranaki, TSB Bank's traditional home market.
"We aren't experiencing much cannibalism of our customer base."
The bank does charge a monthly fee to belong to the online service, however it has no transaction fees on either virtual or real banking services.
"We are reviewing the monthly fee at the moment because obviously we have lower costs for processing transaction from online customers so we can pass those savings on."