NatWest drops kiosk trial…

NatWest has scrapped its trial interactive kiosk, NatWest Direct, blaming poor results and the fact that “the company that designed, developed and looked after the software has decided to pull out “, according to a bank spokesman.

The design group concerned – 20/20’s multimedia arm 1/2/1 – was re-integrated into the main consultancy last month (DW 20 March) with a number of redundancies. The company stated at the time that the multimedia team would be given a strategic slant.

But 20/20 chairman Richard Mott says the retail specialist did not quit the NatWest job. “It might be convenient for them to put it that way around,” he says. “We had various discussions over the months… We both decided not to go any further.”

A NatWest spokesman says: “NatWest has carefully reviewed the options for continuing with the trial, but has decided, on balance, not to go ahead with it for the time being. The use of the kiosk at Kingston upon Thames [the main trial site] has been somewhat disappointing.”

The services and information provided by the kiosk can be given by staff. Meanwhile, NatWest’s PC banking service is being developed in-house for a launch later this year.

Mott confirms that 20/20 will now only take on multimedia work as part of major strategy projects, and not as a standalone business. “It’s a bit like we wouldn’t do a packaging job. We deal in strategic projects and strategic change,” he says. “We will act as brand guardians… but it doesn’t suit us to sit in the marketplace as doers, we are more thinkers.”

See News Analysis, page 8

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