BofA sets mobile record
Bank of America’s (BofA) US mobile web-based banking service notched up its 500,000th active user in November, a level that a study by research company TowerGroup reveals is higher than that of all other US banks combined. The service became available nationwide to BofA’s 21 million online banking customers in May 2007. Key features of BofA’s mobile banking are an ability to transfer money between accounts and to other BofA customers, and to check balances on current, savings and credit card accounts.
US shoppers flock online
Online spending by US consumers during the 2007 Christmas holiday season will soar 20 percent compared with last year’s season to $39 billion, forecasts Jupiter Research. In addition, the research company predicts, the number of online shoppers will grow by 6 percent to 126 million.
VCard arrives in Australia
Australians reluctant to use their credit cards for online purchases now have an alternative, the Visa-branded VCard, a prepaid voucher that allows them to purchase up to A$1,000 credit ($880). The VCard, which costs A$5.50, was developed and is distributed by Australian prepaid card specialist SCX Global.
Royal Bank of Scotland trials mobile contactless payments
The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced that it is running an in-house contactless payments trial using Nokia 6131 near field communications-enabled handsets at its Edinburgh headquarters. The trial is based on MasterCard’s PayPass contactless payment system and is the forerunner to public trials in 2008, said the bank.
Monitise and Visa team up to offer m-shopping and funds transfer
Visa Europe and UK mobile banking service provider Monitise have joined forces to develop a mobile prepaid shopping voucher service. The service will allow consumers to create a Visa prepaid account on their mobile phone and load the account with funds from a bank account or a credit or debit card. The account will enable online purchases and the transfer of funds to third parties via the mobile phone.