Union Bank partners Nokia for mobile payment services

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 18, 2011

Mr D. Shivakumar, Vice-President and Managing Director of Nokia Mobile India (right), and Mr M.V. Nair, Chairman and Managing Director, Union Bank of India, at a press conference in the Capital on Friday. — Kamal Narang   -  Business Line

Union Bank of India (UBI) has partnered Finnish handset maker Nokia to launch mobile payment services across the country. 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.

Mr M.V. Nair, Chairman and Managing Director, Union Bank of India, said that he expects to get nearly 2 million users for the service by the end of the year.

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 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. This is the first time Union Bank of India has appointed a for-profit entity to act as a Banking Correspondent. This comes after the Reserve Bank of India allowed banks to appoint for-profit entities as its bank correspondents.

It is estimated that more than 50 per cent of Indians do not have access to a bank account, and it is further estimated that 90 per cent of the 6 lakh plus villages in the country do not have a bank branch. UBI 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.

Retail outlets

Nokia will supplement the existing 3,000 UBI branches across the country with its network of 2 lakh retail outlets spread across the country. Nokia retail outlets will serve as Business Correspondent agents for Union Bank Money services. Prospective customers can register for the service, deposit money, or withdraw cash from their accounts at these BC agents.

The payment service operates across all handsets. To avail the service consumers have to install a Nokia application on their handset. “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,” Mr Nair said.

Mr D. Shivakumar, Vice-President and Managing Director, Nokia India, said, “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.”

Nokia has also partnered with YES Bank for similar service.

Published on March 18, 2011

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