Nokia has been full of surprises lately. After launching of their first ever mobile PC, the Booklet 3G, they’ve now announced their dipping their hands into the financial services game with Nokia Money.
This is actually the end result of their recent acquisition of Obopay which they will be using as the platform for this new service. What this basically does is allow mobile phone users to perform basic money transactions such as pay bills, send money to other users, reload prepaid SIM cards, purchase goods and service, and the like with their cell phone number as their unique identification number. It’s sort of like Paypal, but instead of an e-mail address as your credentials, your mobile number will be the one used in Nokia Money.
Here’s a short quote from the press release:
“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”, declared Teppo Paavola, vice president and Head of Corporate Business Development at Nokia.
Nokia Money will be made available in select markets in early 2010, but an early preview will already be showcased next month at Nokia World 2009.
With mobile phones now a regular staple in almost everyone’s personal belongings, if Nokia can manage to get the logistics right on this one, we can see this becoming a huge hit for Finnish company and can even serve as a viable alternative to Paypal especially since mobile phone users still outnumber internet users across the globe.