First Direct Boosts Online Aggregation Service with eWise Systems

11th January 2005, London - eWise Systems, the world’s leading provider of customer driven account aggregation solutions, today announces the successful enhancement of first direct’s "Internet Banking plus" service. Internet Banking plus is first direct’s account aggregation service, providing UK consumers the flexibility of online money management, even if they are not a first direct customer.

Internet Banking plus has increased the breadth and functionality of online banking by providing customers a single sign on to all their online finances. New features include the addition of lifestyle accounts such as reward / loyalty cards, air miles, email and many more institutions as well as the financial accounts already supported. Internet Banking plus customers can now view and manage all of their online accounts in one place.

"first direct’s reputation is based on its customer service and innovation, so we are delighted to add this new functionality to Internet Banking plus " says Jonathan Etheridge, first direct’s Head of e-futures. "We are delighted with how strongly people are adopting Internet Banking plus: We now have in excess of 40,000 registered users."

first direct is pioneering the expansion of aggregation to consumers throughout the UK. With eWise Systems, customers can use its patented digital safe, assigned to their PC, to manage financial information from many different sources, all on one page.

"Consumers can now manage many of their online relationships with first direct, not just financial but other lifestyle accounts like their gas and mobile phone bills. It is a great way to simplify your whole online account management," says Mark Matthews, Managing Director, eWise Systems."

"The eWise Systems account aggregation model provides banks with the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of a customer’s financial behaviour, giving them greater intelligence to develop and target products and services for consumers," says Matthews. "Our customers are implementing the eWise solutions because we can demonstrate and measure the return on investment."

first direct’s enhanced Internet Banking plus service launched on 2 December 2004.

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