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Visa does home banking on handhelds

Handheld computer users may soon be able to pay their bills and access their bank accounts with software announced today by Visa Interactive and General Magic.

Handheld computer users may soon be able to pay their bills and access their bank accounts with software announced today by Visa Interactive and General Magic.

Visa's front-end application for home banking currently runs on General Magic's Magic Cap operating system and the Magic Link handheld computer from Sony Electronics. The program allows customers to remotely pay bills, access and update account information, and transfer funds, according to Visa officials.

Motorola is also expected to participate in a test program for the new Visa software this year for the company's Envoy Wireless Communicator, which also runs Magic Cap.

Visa is selling the application to financial institutions that will brand, price, and deliver their own products based on the Visa technology. So far, Deposit Guaranty National Bank in Jackson, Mississippi; Star Banc Corporation in Cincinnati; Universal 1 Credit Union in Dayton, Ohio; and Zions First National Bank in Salt Lake City are planning to test the program starting this fall.