Sanford, Telstra sign WAP-based stockbroking deal

Perth-based discount broker Sanford Securities has signed a content distribution deal with Telstra to provide investors with wireless share trading services.

Under the marketing agreement, Sanford's 35,000 online retail customers can buy and sell shares and other ASX-listed securities via a wireless application protocol (WAP) enabled mobile phone, Palm PC or other wireless device.

Users can also access free real-time market information including stock quotes, company news and account details via the service.

Sanford, which dispatches more than 2,500 short message service (SMS) messages per day to internet traders, will also send users SMS alerts to confirm transactions or suspend trades.

WAP-based trading will command a $16.45 minimum brokerage fee (the starting fee for online and unwired trades), allowing for transactions of up to $100,000, according to Stephen Goh, CEO of Sanford Securities.

Users will also be charged 16.5 cents per 30 seconds during peak times, and 8.25 cents per 30 seconds off-peak under Telstra's WebMode fee.

Goh predicted uptake for the joint service would be "mixed" in light of local WAP adoption in the last five years (around 7000 users).

The deal will generate $500,000 to $1 million in revenue (5 to 10 per cent of total business) for Sanford over the next year, he forecast.

Sanford is believed to be the first local online broker to offer straight-through processing (STP) via WAP technology. Goh said the firm had beat the likes of TD Waterhouse as the first internet broker to hit the Australian market with a wireless trading strategy.

The deal is worth "hundreds of thousands" of dollars, according to Goh, who declined to disclose details on each party's investment.

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