Aether Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: AETH), the leading provider of wireless data services and systems, today announced that it has launched a new Electronic Payments Division to focus on developing solutions that allow consumers and businesses to make or receive electronic payments via the handheld devices they carry today. As Aether's first entry into this market, the company has signed a Letter of Intent with CyberBills to develop a wireless electronic bill presentment and payment service for CyberBills' consumer distribution network.
Aether has also named wireless and financial industry veteran Rod Stambaugh, the founder and former president of U.S. Wireless Data, to head its new Electronic Payments Division as general manager.
Aether's new Electronic Payments Division will concentrate on building partnerships and developing applications on both the payment side, including extending online payment solutions wirelessly, as well as on the receivables side, including enabling businesses with a mobile component to accept electronic payments wirelessly. In the future, Aether will also seek to integrate its current stock trading applications with the new electronic payment capabilities, so that mobile individuals can easily shift funds between various accounts, such as moving funds from a stock account to a bank account.
"The Electronic Payments Division is a logical extension of our current business, given the synergies between Aether's existing leading financial wireless applications and the electronic payments market," said Aether President and Chief Executive Officer David Oros. "With his extensive knowledge of wireless packet data networks, the Internet, communications protocols and the electronic card processing industry, Rod is the perfect individual to lead this new initiative, and we're excited to have him on the Aether team."
Aether's first Electronic Payments Division partner is CyberBills, the pioneer of Total Bill Management(TM), offering consumers a single interface that allows them to view, pay, manage and automate all of their bills via the Internet. Under the Letter of Intent, Aether will use its leading Aether Intelligent Messaging (AIM) technology to extend CyberBills' Total Bill Management service to a variety of wireless devices, including Palm organizers, two-way pagers and cell phones.
Using Aether's technology, CyberBills' customers will be able to review and pay their bills from virtually anywhere they roam. Aether's network operations and customer support center will support the new service, providing CyberBills with a turnkey wireless data solution.
"At CyberBills we are always looking for new ways to deliver our compelling bill management service to large consumer markets -- and wireless connectivity is an obvious extension for us," said CyberBills CEO and co-founder, John Simpson. "By installing Aether's leading technology to enable electronic bill payment wirelessly, our customers can further increase their productivity by paying bills anytime they choose -- even if they're not traveling with their laptops."
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