U.S. Wireless Banking Expands

FRAMINGHAM (07/21/2000) - Early this week, Toronto-based 724 Solutions Inc. had the wireless banking field all but wrapped up, with several banks announcing that they would use the company's services.

Then Santa Clara, Calif.-based Edify Corp. jumped into the game with its announcement last Wednesday that Irvine, Calif.-based National InterBank will be adding Edify's wireless banking application to its S1 Retail Banking platform. Edify is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based S1 Corp.

Spokesman Ron Hynes said National InterBank customers will be able to make wireless transactions and pay bills from their bank accounts in September. The Internet bank, which has been live for seven months, has 8,500 customers but hopes to grow fast: In a few weeks, it will be launching a co-branded online bank with New York-based About.com Inc.

Customers of National InterBank will be able to access their accounts from any Wireless Application Protocol-enabled device, including Pocket PC personal digital assistants, many cellular phones and two-way pagers from Research in Motion Ltd. in Waterloo, Ontario. However, they won't be able to use Palm devices, said Warren Hill, strategic business director for wireless at Edify.

Although Edify provides wireless banking services for five other banks, this is the company's first deal in the U.S. The other banks are located in Japan, Europe and Australia, which are all a few months ahead of the U.S. in the wireless arena, Hill said.

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