Westpac and Telstra have launched Australia's first Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Internet banking service.
Westpac's head of e-strategy, Harry Wendt, says the new service will revolutionise banking. "This is the first working model in the Australian marketplace and one of the few available worldwide, it clearly signals the future direction of banking."
He points to internal research which indicates that 82% of the bank's 335,000-strong Internet customer base are interested in using the WAP services for mobile banking.
Westpac customers using the WAP service will be able to view their account list, check account balances, and transfer funds.
Westpac has trialed the WAP service over the first half of this year. Much of the effort of the past year has been expended on security, with the bank and Telstra co-developing a security server to safeguard communications between customers and Telstra's WAP gateway.
"In the future we are planning customised notification services such as advising customers if a credit card payment is due, or share price alerts," says Wendt.
To bank via WAP, existing Westpac Internet Banking customers must have a WAP enabled handset that supports 128 bit encryption, such as the Nokia 7110, and be registered with telstra.com via www.telstra.com