AT&T offering mobile banking application

Carrier launches mobile banking at CTIA

AT&T announced at CTIA Wireless 2007 this week that it is bringing banking capabilities to its wireless customers.

The carrier is teaming with Firethorn Holdings to make the same banking transactions that are available to desktop PC users accessible to AT&T mobile users.

Bancorp is the first bank AT&T is teaming with. Customers of this financial institution can download the mobile banking application today. With it, customers can transfer funds, pay bills and view account balances from their wireless device.

The software is available to AT&T wireless, formerly Cingular Wireless, customers at no additional charge.

AT&T says Firethorn enables the banking application and is the “pathway between financial institutions and carriers.”

The carrier is expected to add this capability for Wachovia, Regions Financial and SunTrust customers in the next few weeks.

And although this is a step in the right direction to bring banking applications to mobile users, one analyst urges banks to work across all wireless providers.

“The agreement among this handful of U.S. banks and one U.S. wireless operator represents only a small step toward true mobile banking,” says Bob Egan, a chief analyst and research area director at consulting firm TowerGroup, in a report.

“Forcing consumers to make a wireless operator choice does little to move the mobile banking proposition to the mainstream.”

Egan says he expects eight of 10 largest banks to offer this type of mobile banking by year-end.

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