There were financial smartphone and mobile banking moves galore during the month of September. A few weeks back, mFoundry announced its application had been ported over to the iPhone universe, allowing banks to build and customize compatible mobile banking platforms. mFoundry expects at least two banks to launch soon on the iPhone through Apple’s online application market – joining the likes of Bank of America, which reportedly has almost 25 percent of its mobile banker user base on iPhones.
Last week, Visa announced it was developing payments software to run on Google’s new open-ended Android phone operating system, which has just taken a bow as a rival – both in market share and philosophical strategy –to the closed iPhones ecosystem. The new payments software will be made for downloading to Android handsets (the first of which is available through T-Mobile) and will be initially offered to Chase Visa cardholders. The Visa system is the first Android-centered announcement of a financial app since Citigroup said it was developing an Android-compatible mobile banking app with Mobile Money Ventures, Citi’s joint venture with South Korean partner, SK Telecom.
Other Visa mobile payment plans just announced included a mobile money transfer pilot with US Bank, plus a new contactless mobile payments application to work with Nokia-made handsets enabled with near field communications technology.
Joining in the frenzy, too, was Sprint, which announced the launch of its new mobile banking application: MyMoneyManager. Based on mFoundry’s downloadable application, MyMoneyManager includes a PayPal peer-to-peer payment function, and is available for Sprint customers through select banks (BB&T, Citibank, IBC Bank, and PNC Bank).