Mobile Banking is the future of financial transactions going forward – With over 800 million Indian users carrying mobile phones, it becomes an ubiquitous platform to push financial inclusion across the masses. It is expected that Mobile Banking will be USD 350 Billion Industry by 2015.
In last couple of years, there have been quite a few announcements by Banks as well as mobile companies who have started offering mobile banking services. In 2009 itself close to 45 million Indians were using Mobiles to carry out various transactions.
To cash in on this growth, Nokia yesterday announced launch of its Nokia Money service across India. Nokia Money already has tie-ups with Yes Bank and UBI and have been operating in various parts of country. However, the new Nokia money service will be complementary to it and will offer people a secure mobile wallet for their money that can be used to make payments without the necessity of having a bank account.
This service will be especially useful for people in rural areas, where they do not have easy access to traditional banks – However, Mobiles dealers being accessible everywhere (where you do mobile recharge) can act as Nokia money agents, where users can top up funds on your phone or Mobile wallet. This will enable millions of people to have access to simple financial services that were previously out of their reach.
Funds in Mobile wallet can then be used for making secure payments for variety of services including utility bills, phone top-ups, insurance premiums and tickets among other payments.
According to the Nokia announcement, this new Nokia Money service will independent of any particular mobile network, so extending its reach to many previously ‘underbanked’ customers.
Existing customers of Nokia Money service can also upgrade to these services, allowing person-to-person money transfers and cash-withdrawals, financial services which have more stringent regulations than the e-wallet provided by Nokia Money.
Like I mentioned at the start – Mobile Banking is the future and we may witness many more such services launching in coming months and years. I also expect that NFC technology will play a huge role in growth of Mobile wallet services going forward.
Mobile Wallet may actually go on to replace your real wallet – What’s your take?