BT Cellnet has signed a deal to provide free WAP [Wireless Application Protocol] mobile phones to banking customers of Halifax, Britain’s largest mortgage lender.

BT Cellnet will provide the latest generation internet-enabled mobile phones to Halifax's Intelligent Finance brand, due to be launched in July. The first 150,000 IF customers who sign-up for a salary-funded current account plus credit card will receive the phones free.

As if to underscore the growing competition between UK banks to swell their client base via online services, rival Abbey National yesterday launched its new internet banking service. Abbey predicts that it will entice one million customers to the service within a year. As with the Halifax offering, the Abbey venture offers customers a range of web banking services. These will also eventually be made available via interactive television.

Sourced from: BBC Online Business News