Cingular To Offer Mobile Banking - InformationWeek

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Cingular To Offer Mobile Banking

Cingular will have to sign up financial institutions willing to open their online banking services to mobile phones, but the wireless carrier believes the time is right to begin moving ahead with its plans.

Cingular Wireless on Wednesday said it plans to offer mobile banking and payment services on cell phones using downloadable software from Firethorn Holdings.

Firethorn would provide a gateway to banking services through a single, secure, Cingular-signed application. Subscribers would be able to view account balances, transfer funds, and receive and pay bills. The software is being tested and is expected to be available for advanced cellular phones early next year.

To offer the service, Cingular would first have to sign up financial institutions willing to open their online banking services to mobile phones. Nevertheless, the wireless carrier believes the time is right to begin moving ahead with its plans.

"Two-thirds of America's 300 million people now use wireless phones, and nearly 60% of wireless customers use their handsets for something other than making calls," said Mark Collins, VP for long-term products and services planning at Cingular, in a statement. "It is only natural that we move the ease, convenience, and efficiency of electronic banking onto the wireless device."

Cingular, a joint venture between AT&T and BellSouth, has more than 58 million subscribers.

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