Is Your Phone the Next ATM?

Customers of ATMs long ago decided they could do without a teller. Now Steven Atkinson has a bolder idea: they can also do without the cash. His company mobileATM has developed secure software that allows cell-phone owners in Britain to check their bank balances using their handsets. That may sound trivial, but 37 banks in Britain, including First Direct (the roughly $12 billion phone and PC division of giant HSBC) and RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), have approved it.

Why? Because, says Atkinson, consumers make 150 million balance inquiries every month using 55,000 traditional hole-in-the-wall ATMs. MobileATM wants to redefine convenience....

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