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Nokia bids adieu to mobile money business globally
Nokia bids adieu to mobile money business globally
By: iMedia News Bureau

Nokia has decided to pull the plug from its mobile money business, two years after it launched the service in India. The Finnish handset maker has taken the decision to focus on core key areas.

The company had embedded the ‘mobile money’ application in 2010 across all its handsets aiming to drive financial inclusion through mobile devices, across the country. It had entered into a partnership with Yes Bank and Union bank for services like bill payments and money transfer.

Around 2 lakh Indian subscribers will hence forth fail to do transactions like ill payment, money transfer, prepaid SIM top-up, account management and cash withdrawal from cash-out outlets (registered Nokia stores) and ATMs through their handsets.

In total, there are about 1.2 million subscribers using the Nokia service across all three platforms. Apart from India, Nokia had launched the service, based on Obopay's mobile payment platform, in other countries, including Pakistan.

According to a report by Research and Market, Gross transaction value of mobile payments in India is expected to rise to $8 billion in 2016.

Nokia’s move comes even as the mobile payment is gaining currency in India and in other parts of the world. Different player like HDFC, MasterCard and Visa have also entered the mobile payment services over the past month along with Airtel.

Currently, mobile operator Bharti Airtel, after the success of ‘Airtel Money’ service’s first phase of launch in Delhi NCR and Chennai in 2011 launched first of its kind mobile wallet service in Maharashtra and Goa circle recently. The service, which allows subscribers to pay for groceries, bills and other dues through their mobile phones, is used by 50,000 subscribers within the first 10 days of its roll out in Maharashtra and Goa circle.

The Reserve Bank is looking to use mobile phones as a medium for taking banking facilities to the remote and far flung areas for achieving financial inclusion.

The potential of mobile telephony could be gauged from the fact that there is an over 82 crore mobile subscriber base in the country.

According to Tavess Research, mobile money in emerging markets of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa is expected to cross 1 billion users by 2015, with India accounting for over 100 million subscribers.