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August 25, 2009

Nokia launches new mobile financial service

Plans to target emerging economies

By CBR Staff Writer

Nokia, has unveiled Nokia Money, a new mobile financial service offering consumers with mobile device access to basic financial services. The company said that the new service will allow consumers to send money to another person 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 Nokia Money service will be operated in cooperation with Obopay, a developer of global mobile payment services, in which Nokia invested earlier this year. The service is based on Obopay’s mobile payment platform, with newly developed mobile elements. Nokia intends the service to be open and interoperable with other payment services.

Mary McDowell, EVP and chief development officer of Nokia, said: 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. “

Nokia said that it expects the new service to be the next step for delivering financial services to people in both urban and rural areas, and especially to people in emerging economies who currently have limited or no access to financial services.

Nokia is reportedly building a wide network of Nokia Money agents, where consumers can deposit money in or withdraw cash from their accounts. The company added that the service can be accessed 24 hours a day from anywhere.

Teppo Paavola, VP and head of corporate business development at Nokia, said: 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, 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.”

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The Nokia Money service is planned to be rolled out gradually to selected markets, beginning in early 2010.

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