Firethorn Holdings, LLC, the mobile banking and payments enabler, and CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR), a leading provider of financial electronic commerce services and products, announced today that Bentonville, Ark.-based Arvest Bank Group, a $9.3 billion-asset community banking leader throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas, will offer the Firethorn mobile banking and payments solution beginning first quarter 2008 to its 164,000 active online banking customers and over 24,000 monthly online bill-pay users.
Arvest selected Firethorn based on its single sign-on technology as well as Firethorn's exclusive partnership with leading online banking and bill payment leader CheckFree. Also of importance to Arvest is the opportunity for Firethorn's mobile banking application to be pre-loaded on AT&T handsets, thus increasing the bank's visibility and likelihood of user adoption.
"Convenience for our customers is always a top priority as demonstrated by our 12-hour banking locations and expansive ATM network," said David DeMarea, Director of Alternative Delivery Systems at Arvest. "This is an additional channel that will allow our customers to manage their banking services. We appreciate working with Firethorn and CheckFree to bring this new access channel to our customers."
The Firethorn mobile banking and payments solution is customizable and branded, thus enabling Arvest to tailor the application to showcase specific products and services for its customers. And because Firethorn's mobile banking solution will be embedded on AT&T mobile handsets, wireless users will be able to easily locate the application.
Arvest customers, using their Firethorn-enabled mobile application, will be able to pay bills, check balances, view history and transfer funds from their Arvest Bank accounts.
"Arvest has been a valued CheckFree online bill payment partner since 2001," said Alex Hart, executive vice president and general manager of CheckFree Electronic Banking Services. "We look forward to working with Firethorn to provide Arvest customers with CheckFree electronic billing and payment services through their Firethorn-enabled mobile handsets."
"One leading financial institution at a time, Firethorn - together with its rapidly expanding group of strategic partners - is making the mobile banking and payments market," said Firethorn Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tripp Rackley. "We are pleased to welcome Arvest to our network and look forward to working with this visionary institution to provide a superior mobile banking and payments experience to its customers."
The Firethorn mobile banking and payments solution is available on select AT&T wireless handsets today and will be expanded to support additional devices later this year.
"Banks realize that many customers enjoy the benefits of online banking and the power to expand these capabilities to the mobile handset is compelling for people that need to pay bills, transfer funds or check balances on-the- go," said Mark Collins, Vice President, Consumer Data Products, AT&T's wireless unit. "Every bank that is added to Firethorn's platform will provide additional options for AT&T customers who wish to access their financial institution remotely."