Royal Bank of Scotland launches mobile banking service

Royal Bank of Scotland has become the latest high-street bank to launch a mobile phone banking service that allows customers to keep track of their money via a mobile phone or other mobile device.

The service, provided by Monilink and Monitise, will be available to 13 million RBS and Natwest customers with debit cards, with those signing up able to access their account balance and view mini-statements on their mobile phone. They will also be able to top up any mobile pre-pay phone and receive SMS balance alerts.

“Mobile phone banking will give people another easy way to access account information and even greater flexibility in managing their money,” said Paul Geddes, CEO of RBSG Consumer Banking.

“Being able to view mini-statements will show when payments have either gone into or out of the account. This enables people to manage their accounts when and where they want, even when outside of the U.K.”

The services uses a downloadable mobile Java applet and is billed as secure since data is not held on the customers’ phone but only a handset that is linked to the account can be used to access account information.

The software is free and there is no monthly or annual fee though some network operators may make a data charge.

RBS plans to add extra services including making payments and moving money between accounts. This will be available to all current and savings accounts which have a debit card.

Monilink was developed over three years and launched last year by Link (which runs the U.K.’s cash machine network) and Monitise, part of the Morse Group.

The company uses the trusted technology and operational capability of the Link interchange network, which is connected with 37 of the U.K.’s leading retail banks and building societies. This allows Link’s portfolio of services, such as balance enquiries and mobile prepay top-ups, to be delivered to U.K. customers.

Banks already using the service include HSBC, First Direct and Alliance & Leicester.