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18 June 2001

Compaq and Microsoft have today announced a joint initiative to develop a
mobile solutions framework for the financial services industry. The Finance
Mobility Platform (FMP) will enable financial services organisations to take
advantage of the latest mobile technologies and negotiate the evolving
mobile business landscape. The initiative was launched at the first annual
Retail Finance Europe Conference & Expo, aimed at bankers and financial
services practitioners at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel.

The FMP aims to address the challenges posed by the emergence of the mobile
internet. It will create a comprehensive roadmap and development methodology
to minimise the risk for financial services organisations wanting to build
and trial their own mobile solutions. These include applications for
accessing banking and related services from wireless networked devices such
as PDAs, laptop computers and mobile phones.

The FMP will provide support for the financial services industry through
four distinct components:
* an architectural framework which will deliver an end-to-end
framework for software vendors and financial services organisations to
develop mobile solutions
* a methodology drawn up by industry experts and informed by current
best practice
* an industry forum to provide a channel for communication between the
suppliers and users of mobile technology
* a solutions lab where third-party application developers will
demonstrate working solutions to educate financial services organisations
and help them exploit the mobile internet

Mike Smith, Practice Principal for Mobile Finance, Compaq UK, said: "The FMP
delivers an architectural framework that will insulate business decision
makers from the huge technical complexity of mobile internet.
" In particular it will radically simplify issues such as appropriate
security and open standards connectivity. To achieve this, Compaq and
Microsoft will work closely with leading industry partners."

David Slight, financial services industry manager, Microsoft, said: "As the
networks increase in capability, we can expect the user experience of the
mobile internet to improve dramatically, fuelling the demand for new
services. Financial services organisations need to be preparing now. With
the Finance Mobility Platform we will provide a framework within which these
organisations can move forward confidently to gain the benefits of the
mobile internet sooner rather than later."

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