Coming Soon: Cellphone Banking!

Dennis Faas's picture

The Bank of America and Citibank are now offering nationwide services that allow their customers to do routine banking tasks using only their cell phones.

As "smart" cell phones continue to revolutionize the market for mobile devices, so too will more banks look to remove the hassles of physically being inside of a financial institution in order to make simple transactions. The two social functions are merging as never before, combining work and play.

The service provided by Bank of America allows customers who have cell phones with Internet access to check balances, pay bills and transfer money to and from different accounts. (Source:

The service comes as a response to several reports claiming that Bank of America has among the largest number of online users; over 21 million recorded consumers. The mobile option is a natural transition for tech-smart customers.

The Bank of America has also addressed many investor concerns, including the diminutive screen of a cell phone not being big enough to read when making such important transactions.

The Bank of America has countered, by processing their information so that it appears on a Wireless Application Protocol, or WAP. The WAP is a watered-down web format, eliminating unimportant graphics in favor of text that can be easily transmitted and displayed. (Source:

With nearly 85% of the current cell phones on the market being Internet-accessible, the service can be used by practically anyone owning a newer-version cell phone.

The service is aimed at attracting a wide variety of cell phone owners, since the service is compatible with almost any cell phone carrier. Also, users do not have to go through the arduous process of downloading a particular software program in order to use the online banking system. (Source:

Citibank opted to introduce their own software program specially designed to entice people to sign up for their free Citi Mobile banking service. Citibank had initially begun using a WAP-based system, but changed their minds once customers started complaining about the information being processed at such a slow rate.

No matter which service that online customers prefer, both are signs of what is to come in the future of mobile banking.

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