Royal Bank will take a 20 percent equity stake in the new company, Sona Innovations Inc., with Baldhead Systems retaining 80 percent.
“This investment aligns with our strategy of extending our Internet services and properties to new devices and providing consumers with greater choice and convenience,” explained Tom Wolf, senior vice-president, e-business at Royal Bank. “More importantly, Sona Innovations’ approach to wireless service met our customers’ demands for a secure end-to-end system that ensures passwords are encrypted at all times.”
Sona Innovations’ service allows customers to execute wireless banking and brokerage transactions. Sona will initially provide its services for the 3Com Palm personal digital assistants connected to digital cellular (PCS) telephones.
The service will be introduced to Royal Bank and Royal Bank Action Direct customers later this year and will work with any provider of PCS wireless service.
Sona Innovations already offers its technology to other financial institutions wanting to provide wireless banking and brokerage services. Sona Innovations’ service facilitates secure end-to-end encryption using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protection and does not require customer passwords to be decrypted at any time.
Royal Bank of Canada’s main business units include Royal Bank, RBC Dominion Securities, Royal Investment Services, RBC Insurance and Global Integrated Solutions.
Baldhead Systems Inc. is a privately held, Toronto-based technology firm specializing in e-commerce development, front and back-end database development and software applications.