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Bank On Your Palmtop

Juniper Financial Corp. is working with Aether Systems Inc. to create a way for people to conduct financial transactions wirelessly. Juniper, which launched its online Juniper Bank two months ago, plans to make its services accessible via BlackBerry devices from Research in Motion (RIM), and personal digital assistants running the Palm and Windows CE operating systems.

Aether hosts Juniper's front-end system, so wireless transactions are sent from the consumer's handheld through Aether's network operations center. The data is then encrypted and forwarded to Juniper.

Juniper's customers already can check balances on any account they have with the online bank, transfer money between accounts -- with Juniper and with other banks -- and pay bills via a WAP-enabled phone. "Bill-payment capabilities are more compelling," says Phillip Redman, an analyst with Gartner. "Having a message sent to you when a bill or check clears and being able to pay a bill when it's due, on the spot -- those are the services people will want."

Juniper plans to roll out Palm support by early February and RIM support by early March.

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