Verizon Wireless Selects Firethorn As Strategic Partner For Mobile Banking Services

BASKING RIDGE, NJ, and ATLANTA — Mobile banking and payments enabler Firethorn Holdings, LLC (www.firethornmobile.com) and Verizon Wireless, the leading wireless company with the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, announced today a new strategic relationship that will provide Verizon Wireless customers with the ability to easily interact with their financial institutions using Firethorn's mobile financial services application.

The relationship provides a unique opportunity for financial institutions assessing their mobile strategies. With Verizon Wireless' mobile banking offering, powered by Firethorn, customers will be able to access and manage their financial relationships while on-the-go for a seamless, real-time and secure user experience. In addition, Verizon Wireless and Firethorn will team with financial institution partners to conduct comprehensive marketing and consumer education programs aimed at aiding and encouraging adoption.

Verizon senior vice president of consumer products Jim Straight said, "After carefully researching the marketplace and surveying consumer preferences, we concluded Firethorn will provide a secure, easy-to-use and flexible mobile banking solution that will deliver a superior user experience for our customers. We expect these mobile banking services will be valuable to our customers, paving the way for us to introduce more comprehensive payment capabilities."

As financial institutions join the Firethorn Network that already includes Wachovia (NYSE: WB), SunTrust Bank (NYSE: STI), Regions Financial (NYSE: RF), BancorpSouth (NYSE: BXS), Synovus (NYSE: SNV) among others, Verizon Wireless customers will be able to access these relationships in a simple and secure fashion. Verizon Wireless plans to pre-load the Firethorn application on devices in the future.

"Firethorn's larger vision is to provide consumers with a safe, secure and consistent access point to their financial information through their ever-present mobile device," explained Firethorn chairman and chief executive officer Tripp Rackley. "Viewing balances, making transfers and paying bills is the first step. Bringing new and exciting functionality to the mobile handset, such as the ability to view and redeem loyalty points, reload gift cards and perform purchases at the point of sale, including contactless payments, is core to our mobile financial services strategy."

Rackley continued, "Today's announcement with Verizon Wireless is an important step toward broad adoption of mobile financial services — delivered through the Firethorn solution. Together with Verizon Wireless and our financial institution partners, we are helping to define the market for mobile financial services."

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 62.1 million customers. The largest U.S. wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 67,000 employees nationwide. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

About FirethornFirethorn is the mobile banking and payments enabler supported by the nation's leading financial institutions and wireless carriers. The Firethorn solution is a single, secure, certified application embedded on select wireless handsets, which allows users to view account balances and history, transfer funds and receive and pay bills. Firethorn connects financial institutions to wireless carriers, and then manages the complex ecosystem of standards, interfaces and platforms, as well as the training, consumer marketing and customer service necessary to deliver seamless, secure mobile banking and payments. Firethorn enables financial institutions to deliver branded services to consumers via the mobile device, wireless carriers to deliver consumer-convenient, mass-market applications to subscribers, and mobile device users to access and add multiple financial relationships with one password. Firethorn network partners gain the ability to improve customer retention, generate revenue and enhance brand equity. Firethorn is among IDC Research's "Emerging Mobile Players to Watch" and one of Georgia's Most Innovative Technology Companies. For more information on Firethorn, visit www.firethornmobile.com or call 678.507.2500

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