Nokia has announced a new mobile solution called Nokia Money that will enable consumers with mobile phones to access basic financial services, such as financial management and payments systems.
Nokia Money enables consumers 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. The services can be accessed 24 hours a day from anywhere. Nokia is building a wide network of Nokia Money agents, where consumers can deposit money in or withdraw cash from their accounts.
The Nokia Money service will be shown for the first time at Nokia World Sept. 2–3 in Stuttgart, Germany, and is planned to be rolled out gradually to selected markets, beginning in early 2010.
“We believe mobile financial services offer a market opportunity with long term growth potential,” said Mary McDowell, executive vice president and chief development officer for Finland-based Nokia. “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. With more than 4 billion mobile phone users and only 1.6 billion bank accounts, global demand for access to financial services presents a strong opportunity to combine mobile devices with financial services such as Nokia Money.”
The Nokia Money service will be operated in cooperation with Obopay, a California mobile payment solutions company which Nokia invested in earlier this year. The service is based on Obopay’s mobile payment platform and Nokia intends the service to be open and interoperable with other payment services as well.
“As a result of the partnerships we are forging with the banking and financial industry, as well as leading network operators, we believe Nokia Money will bring financial inclusion to many who currently have limited or no access to financial services,” added McDowell.