BECU, formally known as Boeing Employees' Credit Union and the nation's fourth-largest credit union in terms of assets, will enable members to use their cellular telephones as mobile wallets through an agreement signed today with Firethorn Holdings LLC, Kelly Buday, a Firethorn spokesperson, tells ATM&Debit News. BECU, which is based in Tukwila, Wash., plans to offer the service early next year. BECU's members will be able to download Firethorn's mobile application onto their existing cell phones or purchase a new phone from one of Firethorn's partners with the application already loaded, Buday says. Firethorn's partners include AT&T Corp., Verizon Wireless and Cellular South. The application initially will support balance inquiries, account funds transfers and bill payments, Buday says. Eventually, Atlanta-based Firethorn wants to turn BECU members' cell phones into mobile wallets they can use to make purchases at the point of sale. Qualcomm Co. of San Diego owns Firethorn. BECU has 550,000 members, $8.3 billion in assets and 150 ATMs.

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