Cingular To Bank On Mobile Phone Service
Soon Cingular Wireless will introduce mobile phone banking to its customers. The features will include funds transfers, paying bills and other online banking transactions.
The mobile banking launch is expected to take place in early 2007.
Cingular has teamed with Firethorn Holdings to enable customers to do their banking with Web phones. Cingular has been in talks with a variety of banks concerning their participation.
Spokesman Mark Seigel for Cingular said, “”We hope a lot of banks participate, the early signs are very encouraging.” Cingular does not have plans to charge an extra fee for the service. They will charge for the bandwidth customer’s use while doing their banking. Banks may also charge an additional fee.
In order to be able to use the service you must have an account with one of the participating banks. Cingular has not said which banks they are in negotiations with.
To receive access to the service Cingular customers will go to their banks website and sign up for the mobile banking service. The bank will download the service and then customers will be able to do their banking.
Mark Collins, Cingular’s vice president for long-term products and services planning said, “Two-thirds of America’s 300 million people now use wireless phones and nearly 60 percent of wireless customers use their handsets for something other than making calls. It is only natural that we move the ease, convenience and efficiency of electronic banking onto the wireless device.”
On the issue of security spokesman Mark Siegel said that Firethorn is using a data-encrypted, password-protected network. One other safety feature is if a consumer’s phone is ever lost or stolen users will be able to erase the contents of their mobile phone.
The overall impact this will have on the banking and wireless industry will be of some interest. How much revenue this will generate and who will be the next wireless provider to venture into the mobile phone banking arena will be the thing to watch.