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Phone Apps Proliferate

With the share of consumers who use mobile devices for financial transactions expected to exceed half within five years, financial services firms have been busy beefing up their applications for iPhones and other mobile devices. Also aggressively developing applications are real estate services firms.

Analysts predict that Internet browsing on cell phones will surpass Web browsing on computers before 2015, Genesis Global Technologies reported. But for now, up to 80 percent of wireless phone users currently cannot properly access most Web sites.

Recent enhancements to iPhone applications include PropertyInfo Corp.’s SureClose Advantage application, which was released last month. The online real estate transaction management system has been updated to run on the newest platforms. The iPhone technology connects all the parties in a listing-to-closing transaction and offers transparency with views of up-to-date transactional data, documents, tasks and contacts.

Lenders and prospective borrowers can use GoCalculate, a free iPhone application from GoRemortgage, to calculate monthly mortgage payments by entering the loan amount, term and rate

Mortgage shoppers can search for the lowest interest rates on their Blackberrys now with LendingTree’s Mortgage RateFinder. The free application allows consumers to search anonymously and receive up to 30 different loan offers from network lenders. Customized rates are based on the homebuyer’s loan profile. Interested prospects can request to be contacted by the lender.

Banks are also staying on the cutting edge with upgraded mobile banking solutions.

Harland Financial Solutions said it has helped keep more than a hundred clients on the cutting edge with Cavion Mobile Banking Professional, its mobile banking solution for consumers. The Lake Mary, Fla.-based company said the Web-based solution can also be used via text messaging.

Colorado-based Alpine Bank has implemented Diebold’s MobiTransact mobile banking solution to allow their customers access to account data and pay bills from anywhere.

SunTrust Banks Inc. offers Mobile Money from Fiserv — a Mortgage Daily advertiser. The Atlanta, Ga.-based company said its users can access bank account information using text messaging or mobile browser technology.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., recently launched its newest mobile banking app for the Android, Blackberry and Palm.

Minneapolis, Minn.-based U.S. Bank and CashEdge launched a person-to-person online and mobile payments service, Popmoney. New York-based CashEdge said the new Popmoney app is an upgrade of the TransferNow service.

Real estate professionals can search real-time property information with the Title365 free iPhone application created by Advantage Title insurance and escrow service. Users can view ownership and tax information, sales comps, and get directions via GPS by performing a custom search by owner, address or parcel number.

Seattle-based Zillow’s free iPhone App has a feature that allows users to share property information, photos, and its Zestimate data on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

ZipRealty’s free iPhone app, HomeScan allows access to images and information on listed and recently sold properties for mobile house hunters. The Emeryville, Calif.-based company said radar allows users to point the phone directly at MLS-listed house and get instantaneous information.

Bargain house hunters can get a better selection of nationwide foreclosures using Visionary Apps Interactive Foreclosure Finder. GPS technology allows the app to guide users to any of the million-plus foreclosed homes, home listings or rentals.

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