Nokia's new mobile financial service Nokia Money will consumers with mobile device 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 has been designed to be "as simple and convenient as making a voice call or sending an SMS." It will enable 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 (SIM top-up). The services can be accessed 24 hours a day from anywhere, meaning savings in travel costs and time. Nokia is "building a wide network of Nokia Money agents, where consumers can deposit money in or withdraw cash from their accounts."
4 billion mobile phones but only 1.6 billion bank accounts
Mary McDowell, EVP and Chief Development Officer, Nokia, promotes Nokia Money as follows, "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. 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 simple but powerful financial services such as Nokia Money."
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..
"Rural consumers will particularly benefit from money transfers and, for urban consumers used to online services, we are enabling services such as payment of utility bills, purchase of train and movie tickets, and top-ups, all through their mobile phones. Nokia Money is simple to use, secure and available across different operator networks and on virtually any mobile phone. This means millions of new consumers will soon be able to manage all their financial needs from their mobile phone", said Teppo Paavola, VP and Head of Corporate Business Development, Nokia.
Building a new ecosystem for mobile payments
Nokia Money will operate in cooperation with Obopay, a developer of global mobile payment solutions, which Nokia invested in earlier this year. The service is based on Obopay's mobile payment platform; Nokia intends the service to be open and interoperable with other payment services as well.
The Nokia Money service will be shown for the first time at Nokia World on 2-3 September 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany, and it is planned to be rolled out gradually to selected markets, beginning in early 2010.