Mobile telephone maker, Nokia, has tied up with the Union Bank of India to provide mobile banking services to customers who are unable to open traditional bank accounts. The service, which will be rolled out across India over the next few months, will enable customers to deposit cash at retail locations, which sell the phones, and subsequently make payments and transfer money through their phones. Nokia Oyj (NOK1V), the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, has started supplying mobile banking services for a Union Bank of India offering aimed at phone customers who don’t have bank accounts.
The Union Bank Money Powered by Nokia service is available in Gurgaon and will be released nationwide over the next few months, the Mumbai-based bank said in a statement.
Nokia, based in Espoo, Finland, already sells mobile banking in India, working with Mumbai-based Yes Bank. Like the Union Bank service, the Yes Bank offering integrates small retailers that sell Nokia phones into bank networks so customers can deposit cash there and then pay bills and transfer money using their handsets.
“The aim is to have an open ecosystem, so UBI and Yes Bank customers will be able to send money to each other using the respective services,” Mark Durrant, a spokesman for Nokia, said by e-mail.
Both services are part of the Nokia Money initiative, based on an offering from Redwood City, California-based Obopay Inc., a mobile money service provider partly owned by Nokia.
An estimated 90 percent of Indian villages do not have a bank branch, and more than 50 percent of Indians do not have access to bank accounts, according to UBI.
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