Using WAP to find cash in S'pore

In Singapore, consumers can now find ATMs which support MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro transactions--through their wireless application protocol (WAP) phones.

SINGAPORE--Out of cash? Need to locate the nearest automatic teller machine (ATM)?

Consumers can now find ATMs which support MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro transactions--through their wireless application protocol (WAP) phones.

In a statement Thursday, MasterCard claimed to be the first to offer its ATM locator service in Singapore via WAP phones. The credit card company said the service allows users to find the address of the nearest ATM, and provides travel directions with a digital map.

The mapping facility is provided by locally-based Virtual Map (S) Pte Ltd, a provider of location-based services and applications. MasterCard provides a database of all MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro ATMs for the mapping.

When contacted, MasterCard Asia Pacific vice president (interactive services) Mark Patrick declined to reveal the financial details of the deal with Virtual Map.

To access the ATM locator, users have to log onto its site--wap.mastercardatms.com--via their WAP phones. In addition, they can search for ATMs by postal code, building name, street address or by the name of MasterCard member banks.

According to Patrick, the ATM Locator is an extension of MasterCard's service already available on its online Web site since March.

MasterCard said it plans to roll out the ATM locator service in other countries including the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia by year end.

Meanwhile, the company promised it is also working on "several other applications" that will be ported to WAP. Patrick said one such application would be its directory of special offers for consumers and other programs, which are payment-related.