Online Offering Securities Trading Via Screen Phone
Tucker, Tracey, American Banker
Online Resources and Communications Corp. and the Pershing division of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. have begun offering on-line investment services through screen-based telephones.
The service, sold through Pershing's electronic services arm PC Financial Network, enables individual investors to trade securities and retrieve extensive account information using the ScreenPhone - one of several interactive devices supported by Mclean, Va.-based Online Resources.
By offering the service, PC Financial, the nation's largest on- line discount broker, hopes to expand its electronic brokerage business. The company already provides on-line services to 180,000 personal computer users through Prodigy, America Online, and the Reuters Money Network.
PC Financial also offers a research product on Apple Computer's E-World, an on-line service for Macintosh users. It also plans to support a trading application through Sony Corp.'s MagicLink personal digital assistant by the end of the year.
PC Financial's latest service targets "touch-tone traders" - the estimated two to three million individual investors who use touch- tone telephones for trading activity.
The company hopes to lure clients from this pool by touting the ease of use of screen telephones for buying and selling investments, tracking account balances, and reviewing transaction activity.
Blake Darcy, PC Financial's chief operating officer, said the ScreenPhone eliminates the confusion of touch-tone by enabling customers to scroll through real-time quotes and complete transactions without having to follow computerized voice prompts or to navigate functions by entering sets of numbers. …