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Washington Trust Bank debuts multifaceted mobile banking platforms

Washington Trust Bank has partnered with mobile banking and payment service provider mFoundry to launch fully integrated multi-mode mobile banking platforms spanning SMS, the mobile Web and applications.

Washington Trust Bank customers now have access to a mobile banking service that includes text messaging, mobile Web and mobile applications. The WTB Mobile application is available on Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, Google’s Android and many of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry devices, including touch-enabled versions.

“The basics of mobile banking are important to WTB, namely, allowing its customer base to have easy access to the bank anytime, anyplace, from just about any device,” said Drew Sievers, cofounder/CEO of mFoundry, San Francisco.  “Providing WTB customers with the three-mode solution will help WTB create stronger relationships with their customers, while helping to direct communication with the bank into a more cost-effective channel.

“It is important to provide a wide variety of mobile options for customers,” he said. “IPhone users like to get their mobile banking via an application, whereas RIM users tend to be evenly split between mobile Web and applications.

“If you omit one of the modes, you run the risk of leaving customers unserved.”

Washington Trust Bank claims to be the oldest and largest privately owned commercial bank in the Pacific Northwest.

MFoundry provides mobile financial services to banks, credit unions, merchants and processors.

The company’s mobile banking clients include FIS Global (including Metavante, Fidelity National Information Systems and eFunds), First Data Corp., NCR, the CO-OP Financial Services and PSCU Financial.

The company is also the technical force behind Starbucks Card Mobile.

WTB goes mobile
Using the WTB mobile applications, users can check balances, pay bills, make transfers and find WTB branches or ATM locations.

Customers can also use Washington Trust Bank’s enhanced mobile Web to access their online banking via any device with a mobile Web browser.

The mobile Web experience delivers optimized rendering if the customer is using an HTML5-based phone such as HP’s Palm WebOS.

With the text banking commands, users can inquire about account balances and transaction history from almost any phone.

WTB Mobile is available for download in both Apple’s iTunes App Store and Google’s Android Market.

In this first phase, customers can transfer money between accounts and can pay bills via their mobile phone. More advanced features will follow.

WTB leverages its online banking site, Facebook page and other media to promote its mobile offerings.

“MFoundry’s job was to bring WTB to market as quickly and easily as possible,” Mr. Sievers said. “With over 260 customers, we have a proven history of being able to rapidly deploy secure mobile solutions for banks and credit unions of all sizes.

“Our mobile expertise, combined with WTB’s customer knowledge, was a winning partnership for delivering a compelling mobile offering,” he said.

Final Take
SunMobile by mFoundry