September 8, 2009

Nokia Money Increases Accessibility of Mobile Financial Services

On August 26, 2009, Nokia introduced "a new mobile financial service offering consumers with mobile device access to basic financial services." Through Nokia Money, many consumers in developing and emerging markets will have access to such financial services for the first time. Services such as Nokia Money are essential since gaining access to financial services is a significant problem for individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing nations. Mobile devices will improve the access of mobile financial services for individuals through money transfer services, which will give consumers a sense of empowerment. SMEs will benefit by improving inventory control, paying vendors electronically rather than mailing or hand-delivering payments, which is not a productive use of time, and gaining improved access to financial services necessary to meet the needs of business growth.

The Finland-based company explains that "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."

Mary McDowell, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Nokia says that "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." Nokia is capitalizing on a great opportunity to increase its market share in mobile devices by providing an essential service desired by consumers worldwide. "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."

The mobile telecommunications company's press release further explains, "The Nokia Money service will be operated in cooperation with Obopay, a leader in developing global mobile payment solutions, which Nokia invested in 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."

Nokia Money was created through a collaboration of different partners in different markets around the world. "It is designed to work in partnership with mobile network operators and financial institutions, involving distributors and merchants in a dynamic ecosystem to seamlessly provide the new services." The Nokia Money service was shown for the first time at Nokia World on September 2-3, 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany, and the service will be gradually implemented in select markets in early 2010.

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