Two of the largest banks in the U.S. are considering deploying the iPhone for employee use, and both companies are currently testing the device with a small number of employees. Citing three unnamed source, Bloomberg reported that Bank of America (BOA) and Citibank are testing software for the iPhone intended to meet stringent e-mail security needs for the banking industry.
Apple has been boasting that large percentages of the Fortune 100 and Fortune 200 have either deployed or are working on deploying the iPhone and iPad, but the banking industry has been one of Research In Motion’s strongholds, and helped pushed BlackBerry into early smartphone prominence.
Together, Citi and BOA have more than a half a million employees, and a large scale deployment of iPhone within either company would be a significant shot in the arm for Apple’s ability to be a reputable vendor of Enterprise devices.
Bloomberg’s sources specified, however, that BOA is also testing Android devices and noted that both platforms are being looked at as an expansion of choice for employees, and not a pure replacement for BlackBerry.
Currently, the testing programs at BOA and Citi involve only 1,000 employees, being in an early stage.