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1/4/2008
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Verizon Wireless Rolls Out Mobile Banking

Participating banks include Wachovia, SunTrust Bank, Regions Financial, BancorpSouth, Synovus, FirstBank, Arvest Bank, and America First Credit Union.

Verizon Wireless this week rolled out a mobile banking application that lets its subscribers access their bank accounts and pay bills on their cell phones and smartphones.

The wireless carrier collaborated with mobile payments provider Firethorn Holdings to enable the application, which can be used to check bank account balances, transfer funds between accounts within the same bank, and pay bills.

Participating banks include Wachovia, SunTrust Bank, Regions Financial, BancorpSouth, Synovus, FirstBank, Arvest Bank, and America First Credit Union.

Access to mobile banking is secured through a PIN and device lock-out capabilities, said Verizon Wireless.

Additional security measures require subscribers to enroll in the service by first signing up on their financial firm's online banking Web site, which would provide them with an initialization code. The code is then used to link a bank account to the mobile banking app when a subscriber accesses it.

The Firethorn application can be downloaded for free through Verizon Wireless' Get It Now virtual store in the "Business/Tools" section. It's available on several new phone models, such the Chocolate and enV by LG Electronics, LG VX8700, LG VX8600, LG VX9400, and the Samsung SCH-a950.

Verizon Wireless said additional devices that are compatible with the mobile banking application will be launched in the coming months.

AT&T also struck a partnership with Firethorn for mobile banking, having introduced a similar service introduced a similar service to its subscribers in November.

The application has been pre-loaded on mobile phones recently introduced by AT&T, including the SLM by Samsung and the Shine by LG. It can be accessed through a mobile banking icon in the phones' applications folder.

Alternatively, AT&T is offering its subscribers the option to download the mobile banking app, which is compatible with more than 30 of AT&T's phone models.

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