AT&T Signs Up For Mobile Banking

AT&T and Firethorn Holdings LLC have announced a new wireless application that enables AT&T mobile phone customers to manage accounts and pay bill using their mobile phones (PDF). Initial banks on board with the plan include Wachova, BancorpSouth, Regions Financial, and SunTrust Banks.

Users can download the online banking application directly to compatible handsets beginning today; AT&T plans to offer the software as an integrated feature in new handsets beginning in the second half of 2007. AT&T does not plan to charge extra fees for the online banking service, but expects that its availability will attract more users to its mobile offerings; Atlanta-based Firethorn is acting as an intermediary between AT&T and participating banks.

“This is a great day for wireless and for banking,” said Tripp Rackley, Firethorn’s chairman and CEO, in a release.

AT&T says it began testing the service in 2006, and said most BandcorpSouth customers who tried the service said they would use it to check their balances. About three quarters of the trial users said they thought the service would help them make better money management decisions.

BancorpSouth operates in eight U.S. states; Wachovia operates in 21 states, while Regions Financial operates in 16 states in the U.S. midwest and south. Sun Trust has operations in several southeast and mid-Atlantic states. AT&T anticipates offering mobile banking services in conjunctions with other financial institutions in the coming months.