Fastrak Ltd, the value added network offshoot of the Midland Bank Plc has launched a service for the financial community linking its existing offerings under one umbrella to reflect the passing into law last month of the Financial Services Act. Called Electronic Arcade, the service will enable one-stop-shopping to a raft of services via local call access from Fastrak’s X25 network which supports viewdata and asynchronous terminals. The services currently on offer include credit checking, telebanking, insurance and mortgage quotations, stocks and shares information, travellers cheques and currency ordering. Fastrak has signed deals with service providers Datasolve, Pont Advantage and Infocheck over the past eight months and managing director Ian Ogilvie said a further clutch of agreements are in the pipeline to be announced this year. We are trying to keep in step with market demand by forming partnerships, rather than trying to do everything ourselves said Ogilvie, who believes that the financial business market will be 20 times bigger in five years’ time. He also expects Fastrak’s turnover to increase three-fold over the coming year on the back of increased activity in financial circles. Meanwhile Digital Equipment UK, which promised last year to break into the value-added network services market with products aimed at the financial services community, has still not really come clean about the reasons for its delay in announcing a service, but finally did come out with its first UK offering last week (CI No 927).
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