UK-based eFunds International is shipping a new version of its Internet Financial Management (IFM) solution that offers support for Web-based mobile phones, including next generation General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) technology.
"GPRS is going to be revolutionary in that mobile phone users will have fast and 'always-on' access to the Internet," explains Ron Drake, managing director, eFunds International.
He believes GPRS technology will overcome disappointment at WAP-based services, which consumers have found slow and expensive. "With GPRS...the user is always connected and charges are only made for information which is sent or received," he notes.
The GPRS-enabled IFM package will enable banks to offer their mobile users the ability to check balances and latest transactions, as well as make transfers between accounts and pay bills.
Steve Baxendale, IFM product manager, eFunds International, says the company's mobile strategy is to develop IFM as devices are made available and technology improves. "Until now mobile phone banking was considered immature. The arrival of GPRS, however, has overcome some of the limitations of WAP," he says.
Research by the Strategic Group estimates that the number of UK-based GPRS subscribers will stand at 14.7 million by 2006.