CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR) today announced its expanded OpenChannel strategy for mobile banking and payments.
CheckFree's expanded mobile strategy is designed to support multiple technologies for delivering online financial services via mobile devices, including microbrowser-based wireless application protocol (WAP), text messaging (known as SMS for short messaging service), and device-resident applications.
Financial institutions can choose from a full range of deployment options, including hosted, software-based, hybrid and flexible component models, to meet their specific needs.
"CheckFree's OpenChannel strategy for mobile banking and payments recognizes that financial institutions need the flexibility to choose and implement multiple technologies for the delivery of these services," said Alex Hart, executive vice president and general manager, CheckFree Electronic Banking Services Division. "We are responding to our customers' needs for multiple technologies, infrastructure solutions and professional services to help them implement optimal mobile banking and payment solutions."
Celent LLC, a leading financial services information technology and strategy research firm, estimates that 3 percent of all households using online banking in 2007 will also use some form of mobile banking. In 2010, this figure is estimated to rise to 30 percent, the equivalent of 17 million households.
"To determine the best technology for mobile banking, Celent regards banks' needs for ubiquity as the biggest driver of mobile banking technology attractiveness. If banks are to build mobile banking channels and derive associated benefits, all bank customers must have access to this channel, not just those using certain mobile carriers or owning particular handsets," said Red Gillen, senior analyst of emerging technologies at Celent. "Given this, it is highly likely that any successful mobile banking implementation will adopt a hybrid model consisting of a minimum of two technologies-SMS plus mobile browser, or SMS plus client application."
Since November 2006, CheckFree's primary focus in the mobile channel has been on the device-resident downloadable application, offered through a strategic partnership with Firethorn Holdings,. America First Credit Union, Arvest Bank, BancorpSouth, SunTrust Bank, Synovus, and Wachovia Corp. are among the CheckFree customers that have announced their selection of the device-resident approach.
CheckFree has already extended support for multiple mobile technologies by working with one of the nation's top five financial institutions as part of a WAP browser-based implementation. CheckFree provides the payment processing infrastructure that enables the bank's customers to view electronic bills and schedule and cancel payments using mobile devices.