Hold Onto Your WAPs, Here Come the Apps!
Visa U.S.A., the world's leading payment company and CyberBills, the pioneer
in total bill management, announced a partnership to offer consumers convenient,
cost-effective, and secure wireless bill payment services. Together, Visa
and CyberBills will jointly market applications for mobile phones and
hand-held devices to enable 'anytime, anywhere' bill payment transactions
via the Internet.
Joining the onslaught of wireless enabled applications is Visa U.S.A and
CyberBills. Initially wireless applications had a far narrower scope.
Wireless applications, up to now, have been primarily an extension of
the Internet, giving users the ability to check e-mail, fetch stock quotes,
and get up to the minute sports scores. Due to the seemingly certain global
standardization on the Wireless Access Protocol (WAP), Short Message Service
(SMS) and the addition of Wireless Markup Language (WML) software vendors
are quickly porting applications to service wireless access users.
of the first examples of bi-directional or transactional-based wireless
access have been on the part of banks and on-line brokerage houses. A
good example of this is Financial
Fusion's wireless applications targeted at financial institutions,
such as Old Kent (which also includes a bill payment service). Visa U.S.A's
operations, coupled with the established on-line CyberBills will allow
wireless users complete flexibility as to when, where, and how a user
can make payments. The remaining question is simply, " How Secure is it?"
Transactional-based wireless access will allow users rapid access to all
forms of data, whether it is finance, e-mail, or stock quotes. The problem
remaining is quite simply security. Before embarking on any financial
wireless application, verify that your financial institution or brokerage
house has the ability support Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS)
coupled with RSA's RC5 encryption algorithm. If the answer is no, ask
when and hold off until that time. Remember, it's your privacy, your money
and your peace of mind that you need to protect.