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Nokia joins money transfer market

ESPOO, Finland, Aug 27 – Mobile phone handsets giant Nokia has entered the mobile money transfer market with the launch of Nokia Money.

In a statement, the company says Nokia Money has been designed to enable consumers to send money using the person’s mobile phone number, as well as to pay 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,” according to the statement which adds that Nokia is building a wide network of Nokia Money agents, where consumers can deposit money in or withdraw cash from their accounts.

“With more than four 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,” said Mary McDowell, EVP and Chief Development Officer, Nokia.

Nokia Money will be 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.

In Kenya, mobile phone service providers Safaricom and Zain have registered remarkable success with their money transfer services M-Pesa and Zap respectively.

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. Nokia intends the service to be open and interoperable with other payment services as well.

“Nokia’s leading market position, strong brand recognition and global distribution channel, using the Obopay platform with uniquely developed mobile elements, means the Nokia Money service is well positioned to bring the next generation of mobile payment services to the world,” said Carol Realini, Founder and CEO of Obopay.
 
The Nokia Money service will be shown for the first time at Nokia World on the 2nd and 3rd of September 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany, and it is planned to be rolled out gradually to selected markets, beginning in early 2010.

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