US bank FleetBoston Financial is to offer mobile banking and bill paying capabilities to online customers who use Palm and Palm-compatible handheld devices with Palm.Net or OmniSky wireless service.
Customers of Fleet's HomeLink online banking service can now use a Palm-compatible personal digital assistant to view real-time banking balances, credit and Quick & Reilly investment account balances and details, including the last ten transactions; schedule transfer of funds; pay bills to existing HomeLink payees, review and delete scheduled bill payments and transfers; and receive HomeLink alert messages.
With 1.4 million HomeLink customers, Fleet lays claim to the highest penetration (36 per cent) of online banking customers of any bank in the US, as a percentage of its bank card customer base.
Robert Hedges, managing director of retail distribution for Fleet, says: "Initial response from HomeLink users desiring wireless access surpassed our own expectations, and reflects growing consumer usage of mobile devices and the widespread appeal of HomeLink for managing personal finances."
Juniper Communication estimates that 102 million consumers in the United States will access the Internet through mobile devices by 2003. Additionally, International Data Corporation (IDC) projections suggest that approximately 40 million consumers will bank online by 2003.