Nokia, Union Bank Of India Start Mobile Payment Services
Posted at March 19th, 2011 under Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
Leading the way in mobile financial inclusion, Union Bank of India (UBI), one of India’s top retail banks, together with Nokia, today announced the commercial launch of ‘Union Bank Money powered by Nokia’ across India, starting with the National Capital Region.
The service is already available to consumers in Gurgaon, and will be soon go live in Delhi, Faridabad and Noida. This will be followed by a nationwide roll-out over the next few months. The unique service specifically targets users, who do not have a bank account today, by providing access to financial services through their mobile phones and driving financial inclusion.
For customers in the no-frill category, the turnover will have an annual ceiling and prepaid card will have balance ceiling as per RBI guidelines. Other customers, who complete KYC compliance at the Bank, can use the product without any restriction on turnover. The service will enable consumers to transfer money to other individuals, withdraw cash from Business Correspondents cash-out outlets (registered Nokia stores) and ATMs, pay utility bills as well as recharge prepaid SIM cards (top-ups) by using their mobile devices, eliminating the need for intermediaries and delivering true convenience.
Today, it is estimated that more than 50% of Indians do not have access to a bank account, and it is further estimated that 90% of the 600,000 plus villages in the country do not have a bank branch(Source: UBI). UBI, one of the pioneer banks in the Mobile Payments space, along with Nokia; has put in action its Financial Inclusion plan to bring banking services to over 10 million customers across 32,000 villages by 2013.
Nokia will supplement the existing 3000 UBI branches across the country with its unparalleled network of retail outlets spread across the country.
Nokia retail outlets will serve as Business Correspondent agents for Union Bank Money services, in compliance with RBI guidelines. Prospective customers can register for the service, deposit money, or withdraw cash from their accounts at these BC agents. ‘Union Bank Money powered by Nokia’ operates across all handsets in India. Making the service ubiquitous, highly accessible and user-friendly, Nokia is pre-installing the application in a wide range of Nokia mobile handsets across price points. The application can also be installed nearly on all already existing Nokia handsets in the country.
Speaking on the launch, Mr. M.V. Nair, Chairman & Managing Director, Union Bank of India, said, “We strongly believe Union Bank Money will augment financial inclusion amongst the unbanked and under-banked consumer segments by bringing financial services through the mobile device. Technology is a great enabler for banking services and our partnership with Nokia will help us offer ‘Anytime Anywhere’ financial services to consumers across the country. Once rolled out across the nation, Union Bank Money will be the single largest network in India to provide mobile financial services to consumers in urban as well as penetrate rural areas to tap the unbanked populace.”
“Nokia is building an open ecosystem for mobile payments in India with multiple partners (banks, merchants, billers, service providers), to drive basic financial services across the country. Our partnership with UBI will help connect the unbanked population in the country by leveraging the wide reach of our combined networks and the deep penetration of mobile services in the country. The service will drive financial inclusion by eliminating dependence on the physical presence of a branch or availability of internet banking services,” said D Shivakumar, Vice President & Managing Director Nokia India.
According to Gary Singh, General Manager, Nokia Mobile Payment Services, “Conducive regulatory policies, mobile phone penetration and government financial inclusion initiatives have come together to create the perfect moment for mobile financial services in India. Union Bank Money leverages these building blocks to overcome traditional barriers of entry faced by first time users. The solution is accessible, easy to use, secure, and fully interoperable. It makes mobile financial services a reality for all.”