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Halifax is to drop its WAP mobile banking service at the end of the month, ciiting lack of demand.

In a statement on its site, Halifax said: "From 25th June 2003 the Halifax will no longer provide a WAP mobile banking service. Therefore anyone who currently views their Halifax accounts using their WAP mobile phone will no longer be able to do so. All other services are unaffected. Due to this change we have amended our Terms and Conditions. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause."

A spokesman for parent company HBOS said weak demand for the Halifax's service had made it simply uneconomical to continue with a WAP-based option. He estimated that only "fractions of one per cent" of Halifax and Bank of Scotland's combined 1.5 million Internet banking customers had taken up the WAP option. The 1.5 million figure excludes customers of HBOS' Intelligent Finance service.

"WAP is not what people imagined it would be. Low user numbers for our WAP mobile banking service meant it cost too much to run. We couldn't justify continuing the service with so few users," the HBOS spokesman says.

Although Halifax is about to abandon WAP-based mobile banking this month, the bank is keeping its options open to reintroduce a mobile service as technology improves.

"3G is a different technology altogether. We're always reviewing the introduction of new services as technologies develop," Halifax says. ®

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