A new industry forum has been set up to help financial users build wireless application protocol (Wap) based financial services.
Founding members of the group called the Mobey Forum include Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Visa International, Nokia and Ericsson. The forum hopes to consolidate the business, technical and security requirements of the financial industry to offer their customers banking from Wap-enabled mobile phones.
The Mobey Forum plans to work with various standardisation groups in the mobile and financial industries and said it will focus on services such as payment, remote banking and brokerage.
Its overall goal is to facilitate the worldwide creation of a financial service environment for mobile e-commerce.
Bo Harald, executive vice-president of MeritaNordbanken, and the forum's first chairman, said the group would work to promote global standardisation to enable safe, wireless day-to-day shopping and banking business worldwide.
The forum hopes to attract Wap users in financial institutions to share their experiences to promote best practices for implementing Wap-based financial services.
The Nationwide Building Society said it welcomed any initiative where financial users could openly discuss using Wap-based services.
A Nationwide spokesman said that any forum where financial users could talk about their experiences with Wap technology would be beneficial to financial institutions looking to adopt the technology. "A forum has many advantages for sharing ideas and discussing best practices." Such a forum he said would benefit the financial community if it could establish levels of service and protocols required to implement Wap in a financial environment.
Along with telephone- and Internet-based banking, Wap provides another means for banks and other financial institutions to offer customers access to account balances, pay bills and perform simple transactions.
One high-street bank that has rolled out a Wap-based banking service across the UK is the Woolwich.