162234 standard chartered

Reuters reports that British bank Standard Chartered is offering more communication options to its global team of bankers, moving away from BlackBerry as the sole smartphone approved for use by the company to allow bankers to adopt the iPhone as their platform for mobile business tasks.

Standard Chartered bankers in Asia told Reuters that the London-based lender was giving its corporate Blackberry users the option of switching to the iPhone, with the company agreeing to continue to pay monthly billing for business-related telephone and data services.

"It's a group-wide initiative involving wholesale and consumer banks globally," said a Singapore-based spokeswoman for Standard Chartered, told Reuters.

With 75,000 employees worldwide, Standard Chartered's acceptance of the iPhone may mark the beginning of a shift away from exclusive use of Research in Motion's BlackBerry smartphones in the banking industry.

The report notes that security and other technical issues make it somewhat difficult for companies to pursue the necessary testing and implementation to make such a switch, but that Standard Chartered is a significant entity to come down on the side of allowing iPhones onto its business networks.

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