Global handset maker Nokia on Monday said it had started embedding the Mobile Money client service in all its devices in India. The service is available not only on high-end Symbian smartphone devices, but also on Nokia’s Series 40 feature phones and Series 30 entry level devices. The service is supported by keyboard devices, touch devices and a combination of the two.
The Mobile Money service provides access to financial services to the unbanked and under-banked population through mobile phones, ‘empowering people and their businesses’. The service eliminates the need for intermediaries. In its functions, the service is integrated with the phone and other phone services. For example, the selection of the recipient in a send-money transaction is directly integrated with the phone book. Sending money thus becomes as simple as sending a message or making a phone call. To make the service simpler, the user-interface is decoupled and separated from data transport. Therefore, the user would not need to know which transport (SMS, GPRS or wifi) is in use during the transaction.
The Mobile Money service allows users to avail of multiple financial services functions such as account management, with detailed balance information, tracking and details of each transaction, payment of bills, money transfer, cash withdrawal from business correspondents cash-out outlets (registered Nokia stores) and automated teller machines and prepaid SIM top-ups.
People with Nokia phones without the Mobile Money client, can simply visit a Nokia Money agent and get the application loaded on to their phones. They can also use the service through text messages, which do not require a client.
Nokia is building an open ecosystem for mobile payments in India and the Nokia Money mobile financial services initiative is already being implemented through partnerships with Union Bank of India, YES Bank, Obopay and a wide range of merchants, retailers and business correspondents. The services—Union Bank Money and YES Bank's Mobile Money Services—are available in several regions and would be rolled out across India in the coming quarters.
Consumers would have the option of choosing and subscribing to either Union Bank Money or YES Bank Mobile Money Services from their Nokia devices. The service can be activated at Nokia retail outlets, as well as outlets that are authorised banking correspondents of YES Bank and/or Union Bank of India. Gary Singh, general manager, Nokia Mobile Payment Services, said, “At Nokia, it has been our constant endeavour to democratise experiences, products and platforms for consumers. Mobile Money services eliminate the dependence on the physical presence of a branch or the availability of internet banking services. Embedding the Money client in Nokia devices further makes the service ubiquitous and accessible for consumers across categories.”