29 April, 2010

"Nokia Money"- Safaricom Mpesa Here Comes The Big Boys !

Nokia has launched a mobile phone payment/money transfer service in India that closely resembles the Safaricom M-Pesa service model that was first rolled out in Kenya by the Vodafone affiliate in 2007.

The M- Pesa concept(see wikipedia stub) made it possible for people to transact business without the need to visit a Bank premise or to make actual physical payment of money.In essence M-Pesa is branch less banking service.The Nokia Money scheme is a replication of the M-Pesa money transfer model and seems to be offering no added value.The service will be first rolled out in India and thereafter on a Country by Country basis.

Nokia money will allow subscribers to transfer money, pay  merchants for goods and services,pay utility bills ,carry out online transactions and even top up their phone credit.Without doubt Nokia has the financial muscle and it is quite telling why the service was rolled out in India first as opposed to Africa where mobile money transfer schemes are readily catching up like wild fire. Indeed Safaricom the big boys are coming your way so it is time that the service was made more affordable both for the sender and recipient of the money transfer and of course more innovative. 

The Nokia group hopes that the new service will help extend its profitability beyond device sales. Indeed, the company is targeting  to have 300 million active users of its services by the end of 2011.Nokia money is aimed to work on any device, not just Nokia phones and will feature joint partnerships or collaboration with local banks.Of course here at A Nairobians Perspective we are eager to see how all this rolls out and of course experience the benefits of competition in the service industry.


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  2. That is such a great idea and will hopefully assist those who need it most. One of the first lessons taught to people in emerging communities is how to open bank accounts because it is not easy and there is so much red tape. This could empower people at a level that is far more accessible to them.

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