Mobile banking service in the UK this year

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Link and Morse announce mobileATM

LINK, the operators of the UK cash machine network, and Morse Plc, today announced that mobileATM(tm), their jointly developed mobile banking service, is currently being integrated into a number of UK banks and building societies. The service will be available to consumers before the end of 2005.

mobileATM will provide consumers with real-time, on-demand access to their personal financial information on their mobile handset. It delivers a convenient money management tool on the move, allowing banking transactions, such as balance enquiries and mobile top-ups, to be performed.  The service
has also been designed to replicate the simple interface of an ATM on the mobile handset ensuring a very familiar consumer experience.

To use the service, consumers need only download an application onto their phone. This can be done quickly and easily by sending a text message to a short code or by calling into their local Carphone Warehouse store. As with online banking, once registered and authenticated, consumers will have access to their accounts - wherever they are.

Alastair Lukies, mobileATM(tm) commented: "The launch of the mobileATM service is an important step in the evolution of electronic banking and is designed with consumer convenience in mind.  The ATM is the most common interface used to  access banking services worldwide.  In order to make sure
that many people benefit from this service we have simply replicated this user experience on the mobile handset."

Richard Kimber, chief executive, First Direct said: "First Direct customers were the first to enjoy text message services back in 1999, following our earlier innovations in telephone and internet banking. We see mobileATM as a further way of extending choice and convenience for our customers".

Tim Yates, chief marketing officer, Vodafone UK said: "Mobile phones are becoming more and more central to our customers' lives - not just for calls and texts, but also for music, games, information and news. Our customers want to top up in a way that's convenient for them. With the increasing
popularity of ATM top ups, it's natural for us to extend this service to the customer's mobile phone."

Kevin Gillan, group director of business development, Carphone Warehouse added: "This launch is an excellent example of how consumers are shaping the future of service provision.  The mobile phone is increasingly the way that
consumers are choosing to receive and manage information, whether that be the latest cricket score or their work e-mail.   The launch of mobileATM is the natural progression of this trend."

Karl Shields, LINK, commented: "This launch gives consumers far greater control of their money, delivering a personal finance tool that literally slips into your pocket. As the operator of the world's busiest ATM network, LINK's unrivalled  experience of providing 'always on' secure mass market
electronic banking services for the consumer will be key in the acceptance of mobileATM. The 'plug and play' functionality will provide all LINK Members regardless of size with the opportunity to participate in the mobileATM initiative, in turn driving mass market take up and positioning the UK at the forefront of this emerging industry."
 
mobileATM also offers an additional level of security to online banking services.  Using its banking grade encryption technology, customers at the point of access to their bank's online service will be able to generate a one-off authentication code via mobileATM.  This removes the threat of ssword theft occurring through 'phishing' or trojan attacks since codes are changed on a use-by-use basis.

Professor Fred Piper, director of information security group, Royal HollowayUniversity of London, pointed out: 'Security in all banking channels is of paramount importance and mobileATM have demonstrated that they take security
very seriously. We have just completed an in-depth security risk assessment of their current service and are impressed with their security specification.  mobileATM has excellent potential for helping to secure internet banking with their two-factor authentication system."

Duncan McIntyre, chief executive of Morse, commented on the launch: "mobileATM is the conclusion of two and a half years of intensive development, leveraging the very high level of technology expertise we have at Morse.

"It is an example of our successful intellectual property development, broadening the range of services we offer and helping us ensure we are well aced to take advantage of opportunities in the emerging mobile commerce market.

"Bringing this solution to market is an important first step for our joint venture with LINK and we look forward to its continued success as we roll out this solution in the UK and, over time, into other geographic markets."