Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., the third-largest full-service bank in Singapore, has begun providing home banking services through smart telephones with touch-sensitive screens.

The SmartPhone, manufactured by Forval Inc., allows consumers to conduct a wide range of banking transactions, including account balance inquiries, funds transfers, bill payments, and product information queries.

The phone can also be used to report the loss of a passbook or an automated teller machine card and can print receipts from transactions.

The bank, which introduced the phones last fall, has deployed the devices at customer service locations in its branches and plans to distribute more free of charge to high-asset customers who maintain a fixed-term deposit with a set minimum balance.

SmartPhone uses software licensed by Applied Communications Inc. Transactions are processed by the bank's Tandem large-scale computers.

The bank has been using Applied Communications software since 1985 for its ATM networks and teller operations.

The Omaha-based technology company, a subsidiary of Transaction Systems Architects Inc., develops and markets software for electronic commerce, including credit, debit, and check payment processing, as well as for ATMs, home banking, and automated clearing and settling.

The company plans to develop future telephone-based banking applications in the region, said Steve Schiller, director of marketing support for the Asia/Pacific market.

For example, since the phone has built-in computing capability, an "electronic purse" function can be added, allowing customers to slide a smart card into the phone and load electronic cash onto the card.

The phone can also be equipped to collect loan information and other data, handle government licenses and permits, and provide access to accounts through automated phone systems, he said.

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