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Woolwich and Nokia to offer access to Internet banking for all WAP mobile phone users

(October 25, 1999) - The Woolwich is set to be the first British bank to offer its customers secure access to Internet banking services from their mobile phones, using the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) server solution developed by Nokia, the world leader in mobile communications.

Customers of the bank's personalised banking service, Open Plan, will be able to run their accounts, no matter which mobile phone network provider they use, by using their phones to dial-up their Internet service provider at their usual call rates. They can be confident of complete security as their transactions are transmitted from the WAP phone to Woolwich's exclusive WAP server.

The first group of customers are to be offered a free Nokia 7110 phone with one year's service contract in return for taking part in a market research programme. They will be able to check balances on all of their Woolwich accounts (including mortgage and unit trusts) move funds between accounts, view current and investment account statements, pay bills and issue instructions. The knowledge gathered as a result of this exercise will be used in planning the roll-out of the service to all Open Plan customers.

John Stewart, group chief executive of The Woolwich, commented:

"Nokia is the world's largest supplier of mobile phones and a leading company in providing end-to-end WAP solutions. The Woolwich has attracted attention for its innovative use of technology to deliver personal financial services. I am delighted that Nokia has chosen us as its partner and I'm confident that our customers will find this service superior to any other mobile phone banking offer that is on the market."

WAP is an open de-facto standard for internet content and advanced telephony services in digital mobile 'phones and other wireless terminals. The standard enables manufacturers, network operators, content providers and application developers to offer compatible products and secure services on all digital devices and networks, resulting in greater economies of scale and universal access to information. The WAP Forum, which now has some 200 members, has published a global wireless protocol specification for all wireless networks. The WAP-Forum is open to all participants.

Nokia is paving the way to the mobile information society with its innovative products and solutions. Nokia is the leading mobile phone supplier and a leading supplier of mobile, fixed and IP networks including related services. It also supplies multimedia terminals and computer displays. In 1998, net sales totalled EUR 13.3 billion (USD 15.7 billion). Headquartered in Finland, Nokia is listed on the New York (NOK), Helsinki, Stockholm, London, Frankfurt and Paris stock exchanges and employs more than 53 000 people.

Contact information:
Jyrki Rosenberg, Tel: +358 9 5116 2127
In the UK:
David Stoneham, Tel: +44 1252 865 209

Hilary McVitty, Tel: +44 20 8298 5507
Rob McIvor, Tel: +44 20 8298 5020