The Bank of Beijing, on Thursday, launched China’s first direct bank, a novel mode predicted to pre-ponderate in the era of online banking.

Co-operating with the Netherlands-based ING Group, the Bank of Beijing had initially launched direct bank services in cities of Beijing, Xi’an and Jinan, said Shi Zhan, a senior manager at the Bank of Beijing.

A new mode that has proven popular in the European and U.S. markets, direct banking does not rely on entity outlets, instead offering financial products and services mainly via the Internet, telephones and ATMs, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The direct banking services operated by the Bank of Beijing will mainly serve retail clients and small and micro enterprises, according to Shi Zhan.

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