Nokia has announced it's branching into the financial side of life by unveiling Nokia Money, allowing users to send cash via SMS.
The new service, which will be rolled out in 2010 to 'selected markets' will enable consumers to send money to others by using mobile phone number, as well as to pay merchants for goods and services, pay their utility bills, or top up their pre-pay accounts.
Nokia claims it is building a wide network of Nokia Money agents, which appear to be locations where users can deposit money or withdraw cash from their accounts.
Nokia believes the service will have two uses, both for those in emerging nations where bank accounts aren't widespread and the mobile-savvy consumer:
"Rural consumers will particularly benefit from money transfers and, for urban consumers used to online services, we are enabling services such as payment of utility bills, purchase of train and movie tickets, top-ups, all through their mobile phones," said Teppo Paavola, VP and Head of Corporate Business Development, Nokia.
"Nokia Money is simple to use, secure and available across different operator networks and on virtually any mobile phone. This means millions of new consumers will soon be able to manage all their financial needs from their mobile phone."
The deal is operated in cooperation with Obopay, which Nokia took a minority stake in earlier in the year for £45m, and will allow interoperability with other payment services too.
We'll be getting a hands on (well, whatever the equivalent would be) at Nokia World in Stuttgart next month - fingers crossed we can 'test' sending money to all our friends.
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