Qualcomm’s Firethorn Technologies has unveiled a major upgrade to its mobile banking and payments application that adds functionality for mobile-commerce marketing features.

Firethorn’s application, which is installed at 11 major banks and credit unions through wireless carrier partnerships with AT&T, Verizon, AllTel and Cellular South, will now add the ability for operators, banks and merchants to offer targeted promotions to users’ cell phones. In addition, Firethorn can integrate with institutions’ existing card and account rewards programs. The marketing component is one feature set many m-banking observers expect as a key element of a full-blown digital wallet envisioned for the mobile environment—if and or when advanced payment features become reality (i.e., contactless point-of-sale).

“Firethorn’s solution shines a light on what consumers, financial institutions, wireless operators and, eventually, merchants can expect from mobile commerce in the future,” said Tripp Rackley, CEO, Firethorn, in a news release.  “The latest upgrade of our solution is one of many advances Firethorn plans to make as we anticipate the maturing market’s needs for more advanced payment capabilities.”

The new upgrade also allows for service customization for banks to add features as they evolve. Firethorn also recently backed the popular AT&T application to the Apple iTunes store, where it quickly became one of the top financial app downloads for iPhone/Itouch users.

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