Nokia Money Initiative in India

Nokia Money By Obopay

What is Nokia and Obopay announcing today?

We just launched the first commercial version of the Nokia Money in India. Read about it here.

The launch is starting with a commercial pilot in Pune, which is one of the country’s largest metropolitan areas in the region. It is being offered in partnership with Yes Bank and is being called Mobile Money Service by Yes Bank powered by Nokia. It’s the comprehensive service which allows you to transfer money to another person just by using the person’s mobile phone number, pay bills, as well as recharge your prepaid SIM cards.

We’re also working to enable consumers to pay merchants for goods and services in the next few months.

What is so special about your service offering?

In many ways our offering with Nokia and Yes Bank are taking mobile payments and banking to the next level. This new service is one of the most comprehensive services available in the market. It’s going to change the game for mobile payments. Obopay brings operating experience with mobile payments from around the world. The offering combines Nokia’s retail reach, brand awareness, and handset expertise to provide unparalleled access and ease of use for these services. Additionally, the service offers a comprehensive feature set that enables people to use it to meet all of their daily payment needs including utility bill pay, top-up minutes, send money using P2Pand pay merchants using P2M features. It’s also the only service that is designed to convert physical cash to e-money, which is being delivered in a way that provides unprecedented access to financial services through Nokia’s retail reach. It’s also the only mobile payment service with a user-friendly application that can be accessed by the masses. Our application uses secure SMS, rather than requiring the user to have a mobile data plan.

Why did you select India as the first emerging market to launch Nokia Money initiative?

We chose India because of its enormous scale and potential as the home to a population of 1.5 billion people. It’s also got the fastest growing cellular market in the world. Right now there are 500 million mobile phones in India, but it’s expected to be more than 900 million by the end of 2013. 41% of India’s population does not even have a bank account. Combined, the market potential here is huge in India.

Nokia and Obopay also bring significant experience and resources to the Indian market. Nokia is among the leading brands in India in market share with over 200,000 retail stores throughout.

We also have a lot of operating experience in India. We have been live in India with YES BANK since 2008. We have a deep understanding of the complex marketplace, the regulations, and ecosystem.

With our combined experience and market potential we felt there was no better place than India for a service offering like this.

What are your expansion plans in India?

We plan to extend the launch over the upcoming months and aggressively roll out the service to all major cities in India within a year.

What does Nokia and YES BANK add to the service offering?

Nokia brings the strength, trust, and the vast distribution of their brand. They’ve got 200,000 retailers across India who could serve as authorized Nokia Money agents. They also bring enormous handset expertise and uniquely developed mobile elements.

YES BANK, who is a long-time partner of Obopay, is the fastest growing bank in India. In fact, it was awarded the “Most Innovative Bank in India.”

We’re a strong company and have strong partners for this service and will continue to grow the ecosystem of partners including mobile operators, banks, distributors and merchants to bring Nokia Money to the market successfully.

How will this impact the lives of Indians?

This service has enormous potential to empower the lives of its users. It has the potential to bring finical services to the hundreds of thousands of Indian Citizens who have previously not had access to them, improving their lives in the process. It’s safer, convenient, and more efficient than cash. It gives consumers and merchants the ability to manage their finances in ways that were not available to them before. It’ll enable business to get paid faster, which will increase productivity.

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About Carol Realini

Serial Entrepreneur, Mobile Payments and Banking Pioneer, Author, Board Member Carol Realini is a successful Silicon Valley executive and expert in financial service innovation. She has worked with leading financial institutions including MasterCard and Citi, as well as numerous multinational and regional banks, to change the way banking is conducted. In 2011, as a Technology Pioneer attending the World Economic Forum, she led discussions on alternative banking at their meeting in Davos. A serial entrepreneur, she has been recognized as one of the 50 Top Women in Technology by Corporate Board Member magazine. Carol is a huge believer in the potential of mobile banking and payments to create financial inclusion - where everyone with a mobile phone has access to affordable financial services that empower their life and work. To understand Carol's vision please watch the WEF video (click on the weforum.org link below). Carol also mentors entrepreneurs providing wisdom and lessons learned from her four successful startup experiences.
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