Discover Financial Services said Thursday it has started a Web site called Discover.com Mobile that lets the company's cardholders manage their accounts using mobile phones.
The Riverwoods, Ill., credit card company said the site, at m.discover.com, is designed to be accessed through the browsers that are built into many mobile phones.
Customers can make payments, review transactions, review rewards activity, and enroll in Discover's 5% Cashback Bonus rewards program at the site, using their Discover.com account username and password.
"Discover.com Mobile provides a new service channel that allows cardmembers to have access to their account information right at their fingertips," Sarah Alter, Discover's vice president of e-business and new markets, said in a press release.
Many financial companies already offer or are testing mobile phone banking services.
There are three main models for delivering such capabilities through phones: text messaging, downloadable applications, and browsers.
Advocates of the text message model say it is easy to use and available through almost every model phone. Companies that offer downloadable applications say downloadable tools are easier to use than text messages and have better features.
Discover said Discover.com Mobile offers some of the advantages of both: it can be accessed by most phones and allows for more sophisticated account management than text commands do.
The company described the new site as "a simplified version of the Discover.com account summary interface."
Discover also offers Spend Analyzer, an online application that categorizes purchases made on Discover cards; Paydown Planner, which shows customers how long it would take them to pay off their entire balance; and Purchase Planner, which calculates how a large purchase would affect a customer's balance and monthly payment.
Both Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. have said they expect mobile phones to become important tools for financial services, and are testing a variety of mobile payment services.
However, the job of developing ways to manage card accounts with mobile phones has largely fallen to issuers.
Citigroup Inc., for example, offers an account management service for credit card customers, using software from Firethorn Holdings LLC, a unit of Qualcomm Inc.