Nokia and Accenture are to work together to develop mobile banking software for financial services companies.
Based on open standards, such as J2EE, the first applications available will be banking, investment, insurance and customer portals for mobile access. But so far reaction to mobile banking has been less than positive.
A software company, Meridea, has been set up with backing from 3i, Nokia and Accenture to develop the products.
The first customer is Finnish bank Sampo, but Meridea says it is in talks with several UK banks and financial institutions about starting pilot projects early next year.
Esa Tihila, chief executive of Meridea, said the company is confident that banks outside the Nordic region will develop mobile banking channels.
"From the beginning our aim is for the global market and not just the Nordic region. We are looking in the next three or four years to cover all geographies," he said.
But the big High Street banks will be a challenge, he admitted. "We are talking to the challengers. The big players are in defensive mode about this."
Most UK banks have tried mobile banking projects, largely without success. The Woolwich recently admitted that take-up of Wap-banking on its personalised Open Plan service has been disappointing, with more customers using digital TV to transact.
This was despite the bank offering free handsets and cheap line rental.
Mobile banking is hampered by several problems and will not be a high priority investment for companies, said Benjamin Ensor, analyst at Forrester Research.
"Relatively few people use web-enabled phones for any internet transactions, but the big problem is security fears. We did a survey that indicates 93 per cent of consumers worried most about information loss or theft during mobile transmission. And take-up will remain weak with bandwith constraints."
Mobile banking is viable in the long-term, however, and take-up will increasingly be among SMS-savvy youngsters who are comfortable using mobile phones to send data, he said.
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