Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nokia Sets Strategy for Mobile Financial Services

Noting that there are now over 4 billion mobiles phones worldwide but only 1.6 billion people with their own bank account, Nokia announced plans to launch a "Money" service that will provide consumers with mobile device with access to basic financial services. For many consumers, this will be the first time they have had any access to such financial services.


Nokia Money promises to make it possible to send money to another person just by using the person's mobile phone number, as well as to pay merchants for goods and services, pay their utility bills, or recharge their prepaid SIM cards (SIM top-up). The services can be accessed 24 hours a day from anywhere, meaning savings in travel costs and time.


Nokia said it is building a wide network of Nokia Money agents, where consumers can deposit money in or withdraw cash from their accounts. The goal is to make sending money as simple and convenient as making a voice call or sending an SMS.

The Nokia Money service will be operated in cooperation with Obopay, a start-up based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nokia made an equity investment in the firm earlier this year. The service is based on Obopay's mobile payment platform, with unique and newly developed mobile elements. Nokia intends the service to be open and interoperable with other payment services as well.


"We believe mobile financial services offer a market opportunity with long term growth potential. In many countries, mobile phone ownership significantly exceeds bank account usage, suggesting that many mobile phone users have very limited or no access to basic financial services," said Mary McDowell, EVP and Chief Development Officer, Nokia.


Mobile payments will be the next step for delivering financial services to hundreds of millions of people, both urban and rural, who are underserved by existing payment means, especially in emerging economies.


"Obopay shares Nokia's vision for bringing mobile financial services to millions of people worldwide. We're excited that Nokia has chosen Obopay's platform. Nokia's leading market position, strong brand recognition and global distribution channel, using the Obopay platform with uniquely developed mobile elements, means the Nokia Money service is well positioned to bring the next generation of mobile payment services to the world," said Carol Realini, Founder and CEO of Obopay.


Nokia said it is also with different partners in different markets around the world. The Nokia Money service will be shown for the first time at Nokia World on the 2nd and 3rd of September 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany, and it is planned to be rolled out gradually to selected markets, beginning in early 2010.
http://www.nokia.com
http://www.nokia.com

  • In June 2009, Nokia announced the commercial launch of its pioneering Nokia Life Tools service in India. The service will be rolled out first in Maharashtra in association with the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB). Designed specifically for the emerging markets, Nokia Life Tools is a range of Agriculture, Education and Entertainment services sharply addressing the information gaps of target consumers. Nokia Life Tools service will be expanded to select countries across Asia and Africa later in 2009 and beyond.

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