Handset manufaturer, Nokia has tied up with YES Bank to launch Nokia Money in India powered by Obopay. Initially, a commercial pilot will be launched in Pune to test the waters. Note that the service is bank led, called “Mobile Money Services by YES Bank”. Users an sign up for the service at mobilemoneyservices.co.in. The service has been launched almost a year and a half since the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced guidelines for mobile payments. The RBI has since increased the transaction limit for mobile banking to Rs. 50,000, and allowed cash withdrawal via mobile.

According to Nokia Money, the service will allow users to check their balance, manage expenses and payments, recharge prepaid (mobile) account, and pay utility bills. Cashless payments to merchants have not been launched yet. The uptake of mobile banking in India has been muted, at best, so much so that Dr. K.C. Chakrabarty, Deputy Governor of the RBI, had severely criticized banks and telecom operators for not sorting out their issues.

Last March, Obopay and Yes Bank had announced they would launch a mobile payment solution to be called “Pay Anyone”. Nokia invested an undisclosed amount in Obopay last year, speculated to be around $70 million, so Obopay obviously gets a look-in with Nokia Money.

According to IDC, Nokia has a major share of 56.8 percent in the handsets market as of June 2009.  We expect Nokia to launch handsets with built-in Obopay apps for the financial transaction.


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