Egg looks at 'electronic wallet' to hold on to its customers

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The Independent Online

Egg, the online bank being spun off next month by Prudential, the life insurance group, is talking to American software providers about launching an "electronic wallet" later this year.

Egg, the online bank being spun off next month by Prudential, the life insurance group, is talking to American software providers about launching an "electronic wallet" later this year.

The product is among several on which Egg is working to keep customers loyal as competition in online banking heats up. Other announcements believed in the pipeline include deals like Halifax's with BT to give away WAP mobile phones, and launching an interactive digital service on Open, BSkyB's home-shopping platform.

An electronic wallet is a way of storing customer details centrally so that, instead of keying in information each time, they can be transmitted directly by clicking on a secure symbol.

The need to key in the same details repeatedly is a major deterrent to shopping on the Net. Experts say 70 per cent of customers give up at this stage.

The need to prove that Egg has the products to hold on to its 1 million customer base is vital as Egg tries to persuade financial institutions to subscribe for shares. An Egg electronic wallet will almost guarantee that Egg customers will automatically use the Egg credit card when buying online.

Analysts expect the offering of up to 25 per cent of Egg to value it at £1.5bn to £2bn.

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