MIAMI - Visa U.S.A. is announcing today a partnership with Aether Systems Inc., a wireless data company, to develop financial applications for mobile devices.

Together the two companies plan to enable the electronic presentation and payment of bills via mobile devices, test and promote wireless point-of-sale products, and develop wireless payment options for Visa customers. Aether, based in Owings Mills, Md., sells information services like real-time stock quotes and trading, Internet access, and electronic mail to wireless users.

The companies said they would also collaborate on standards and technology development through a Wireless Application Protocol electronic commerce expert group.

"Our partnership with Aether will help accelerate the development of mobile-commerce applications in the financial services industry and deliver significant payment solutions to the market," said Steve Ryan, senior vice president of e-Visa, Visa's Internet division in San Francisco.

- Miriam Kreinin Souccar

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