Fifth Third Bancorp is planning to add bill payment to its mobile banking service using technology from ClairMail Inc.

The Cincinnati bank, which has supported mobile banking services since early 2009, initially only allowed users to view their account summaries, see pending and posted transactions, transfer funds and find bank and ATM locations, a spokeswoman said. Customers also could receive text-message alerts when their balance was below or above a preset limit, but the alerts were not necessarily immediate, she said.

Using ClairMail's technology, Fifth Third customers still receive the same features but also may get the personalized alerts immediately. They cannot pay bills now, but they may be able to later with the San Rafael, Calif., company's technology, the spokeswoman said.

Fifth Third's choice of ClairMail, which it announced last week, is important because the bank needs a "solid provider that can meet the scale and growth of mobile banking capabilities," said Ron Shevlin, a senior analyst at Aite Group LLC in Boston. ClairMail has been building out various mobile-based capabilities beyond banking, such as mobile-based fraud-management services, he said.

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