Handy Banks

Palm Pilots now make banking <i>hand-y</i>. Get it?
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Hang on to your passbooks-banking is going wireless. From to , several banks nationwide are testing or have implemented programs enabling entrepreneurs to access their accounts via and personal digital assistants. "This is a core part of the services banks offer in and , but large banks in the United States are just beginning to build this service out," says Alistair Rennie of -based 724 Solutions, one of the primary companies helping U.S. banks roll out the new .

"The next phase of real growth and exciting developments [in banking] is wireless," affirms Michael Szwajkowski of Purchase, New York-based Claritybank.com. This newly established bank has incorporated wireless banking as a core feature since its inception.

In addition to simply offering access to accounts, wireless banking allows entrepreneurs to pay bills online and wire , making the service especially suited to time-pressed customers. "These customers have a high desire for convenience and want wherever they are," says Charles Piermarini of Chicago-based Harris Bank, which is also testing a mobile-phone program.

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