Akron, Ohio-based FirstMerit Bank has joined the crowd of banks providing wireless access to accounts anywhere, anytime. Teaming with Ajaxo, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based wireless service provider, FirstMerit recently began offering wireless access services-powered by Ajaxo's Smart Agent wireless applications technology-to its customers.
The system has only limited functionality-allowing customers to view balances for their checking, savings, money market, CD, IRA, home equity, and consumer loan accounts. But by early next year, the bank plans to offer wireless customers more options, including the ability to transfer amounts between accounts and other transactions.
"We looked at this strategically-what's essential today, and what will most benefit our customers," said Joe Haren, chief Web officer and senior vice president at FirstMerit.
FirstMerit chose Ajaxo because of its proven track record in working with financial services companies. Ajaxo is also known for the privacy and security of its applications, as well as its high level of customer service-all features that are important both to FirstMerit and its customers.
Banking inquiries will be handled by the bank's call center and technical questions about the wireless service will be handled by Ajaxo.
FirstMerit has a down-to-earth approach to new technologies-weaving them in with its current services and offering them as just one more option in an array of personalized services. "We look at this as another way of helping our customers," said Haren. "We don't look at wireless and Internet banking as an end in itself."