TSB/Vodafone link-up on cards

TSB and Vodafone are under-stood to be finalising a deal to launch a “bank in your pocket” service next year to rival Barclaycard and Cellnet’s.

TSB announced last week that it will be offering a digital handset that gives 20 per cent reductions in the cost of calls made on the Vodafone network. Billings will be made on the customer’s trustcard account, allowing up to eight weeks free credit.

Insiders say TSB (the second largest credit card issuer) and Vodafone (the largest mobile phone operator) are drawing up plans to develop a phone for TSB Trustcard customers that will allow the bank to conduct business by phone. Customers will be able to pay bills, view account details and order cheque books and statements.

The deal is understood to be similar to the one struck between Barclaycard and Cellnet two weeks ago whereby a special Barclaycard button on handsets calls up a menu of financial services.

Mobile phone network operators are keen to expand the use of mobile phones. The new deals with credit card companies give potential access to 9 million Barclaycard and 3.5 million TSB customers.

A TSB spokeswoman would not comment on whether the bank is negotiating a deal to extend the service.

The handsets, which cost 49.99, will be available in November.

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