It seems that Nokia is finally ready to back mobile payments after it announced it had invested over £45m for a stake in Obopay.

The money, which will see Nokia taking a minority shareholding, will be used to keep expanding Obopay's suite of products and to further its presence around the world.

Cash-filled phone

The move could further Nokia's interest in near field communications (NFC), with the possibility of linking the Obopay service into a 'cash-filled phone'.

The mobile payments firm, which works in both the US and India allows users to link their credit card to their virtual account or top up by cash, which then gives them the means to text money to any other mobile phone.

Once received, the user can either sign up for an Obopay account or have the money transferred right into their bank account. This means that in the future Nokia could have money texted to a mobile phone and then used to pay for objects using an RFID reader, similar to those used in Oyster cards and Visa's new PayWave system.

The FT.com has quoted statistics from Gartner that predict the market for mobile payments will shoot up to 100m in 2011, so Nokia could well be placed to make the most of the next growing market.

Via FT.com