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First Data, mFoundry Team for Mobile Banking, Mobile Payments

First Data Corp. and mFoundry have announced they will be working together to deliver mobile banking and payment services to U.S. and international mobile subscribers. According to the two companies, "this newly forged relationship will leverage each company's respective strengths in order to offer mobile operators, mobile subscribers, merchants and financial institutions a flexible and easy-to-use solution for mobile financial services."

"First Data is continuing to identify technology providers who will support our efforts to deliver a new generation of mobile phone-enabled payment services to financial institution and merchant clients," said Sara Bonn, chief product and innovation officer, First Data Financial Institution Services. "The adoption by wireless operators and financial institutions of the Spotlight Financial Platform(TM) was a critical factor in our selection of mFoundry as a mobile partner. As a leader in e-Commerce and payments solutions, mobility is a critical part of First Data's product roadmap."

mFoundry's Spotlight Financial Platform is intended to provide the technology necessary to bring a wide array of financial services to U.S. and international markets. In the relationship, First Data plans to offer the full Spotlight mBanking solution to the financial institution community. As a component of this relationship, First Data's STAR® Network and mFoundry expect to offer mobile banking opportunities to more than 5,400 financial institutions, giving STAR member organizations the ability to offer those capabilities to their customers in an easy, cost-effective way.

In addition, First Data will work with mFoundry to offer its stored value and credit products in conjunction with the Spotlight solution, with the goal of delivering flexible, easy and convenient features - such as balance inquiries and transaction history - to consumers. Finally, both companies have agreed to pursue opportunities as they arise to support Near Field Communication (NFC) solutions that will be rolled out by the mobile operators, merchants and financial institutions. mFoundry and First Data intend to jointly work with mobile operators and financial institutions to bring mobile banking and financial services to their customers.

"First Data is a leader in processing and payments and will be a key partner for mFoundry moving forward," said Drew Sievers, mFoundry's CEO and co-founder. "They will help us build the critical bridge between mobile banking and mobile payments solutions around the world."

Banks and banking analysts have been closely watching the developing mobile banking space and estimate that there are more than 2 billion mobile subscribers globally. Recent industry reports predict that by 2011, nearly 99 percent of handsets will be capable of accepting transactions, and revenues from mobile offerings may reach $88 billion, indicating a significant potential for mobile banking to achieve the level of every day use. The collaboration between experts in the financial services industry and experts in mobile applications is a very powerful formula for marketplace success.

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