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Palm VII offers Prudential services

Prudential Insurance Company announces that its customers will able to access a range of financial information remotely using a Palm VII handheld wireless computer.

Prudential Insurance Company announced yesterday that its customers will be able to access a range of financial information remotely using a Palm VII handheld wireless computer.

Prudential customers will soon be able to get life insurance and stock quotes and check their 401(k) balances through a Palm VII. Next year, the company plans to allow customers to trade stocks and get auto insurance quotes using the device.

Prudential's move comes one month after Palm turned on its wireless service nationwide, and the financial services giant joins a growing number of e-commerce companies that have teamed up with Palm to offer services remotely. Palm VII users already can buy books on Amazon.com and bid on items at eBay.

Prudential is not the first financial services company to team with Palm. Fidelity Investments customers can trade stocks using the device, and Bank of America's online banking customers can check their account balances.

But Prudential also is one of the first companies to provide a range of financial services in customers' hands with the device.

"What we have delivered here is a very powerful solution: a single secure place for our customers to access our comprehensive range of financial services no matter where they are," said Jean Hamilton, executive vice president of Prudential, in a statement.

The Palm VII device connects to the Internet through Palm's wireless service, but cannot display full Web pages. Instead, the device accesses information using customized programs that download it in Palm's Web clipping format.

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