A world first for Boland Bank
Boland Bank is the first bank in the world to offer banking services from a cellular phone utilizing Smart Messaging (interactive messaging) technology. Clients of Boland Bank will be able to check account balances and get foreign exchange rates from their cellular phones. Soon, additional facilities will be launched and will include internal transfers, payments and check mini statements via a cellular phone. At present, the service is accessible from the Nokia 8110i which supports Dynamic Menu Control which enables the phone to receive the banking menus over the air. The user follows the easy menu options to complete the selected banking transaction. Information is only delivered on request, with the necessary pin codes to protect the client personal banking details. This will ensure that these facilities will be as secure as any done by an existing ATM, with the added advantage of being totally mobile. Mr. Riaan Stassen the Managing Director from Boland Bank says, "Interactive banking via cellular phone is the future banking technology, as clients want mobile access to this information 24 hours a day. Boland Bank identified this need from clients and has responded with this service. Taking into account the cellular phones in the market today and the new models in the near future, we decided to offer this service to our customers to provide more efficient and convenient banking." Users of other handsets will also be able to use the service, but the user interface is just more complex. The person will have to write a short message and send it to the bank`s server to be able to use the service. According to Gavin Penkin, Data Products Manager of Nokia South Africa, Smart Messaging with the 8110i is the first generation of GSM phones which are optimized for interactive messaging. The facility to receive menus over the air makes the user interface easy and thus enables interacting with information sources such as banking a simple process. The next generation of interactive messaging phones called WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) will appear on the market towards the end of 1998. The smart message server gateway is developed for Boland Bank by Worldwide Solutions Gateway, a local software company specializing in SMS (Short Message Service) applications and the integration of SMS to various platforms. Nokia Mobile Phones are distributed by the RF Group in South Africa. The RF Group is one of the major suppliers of cellular phones and accessories in the country.