PUNE, India – Transferring cash using Nokia Money is as simple as sending a text message. Running as a pilot, called “Mobile Money Service by YES Bank powered by Nokia” in Pune since earlier this year, users have two types of accounts they can sign up for – Easy Pay and Easy Send. Easy Pay is the basic version, enabling users to pay utility bills and recharge prepaid mobile accounts from their mobile phone. With just a water bill (as proof of address) and their mobile device, users can sign up for the service easily and quickly at a certified Mobile Money Service retailer. From there the process of paying bills can be done anywhere they have a network connection. In some instances, the user will get a alarm added to their device, reminding them a few days before that a bill is due to be paid.
It’s typical in India for one person in the household to manage the money. That’s why Easy Pay enables users to top up prepaid mobile bills on multiple accounts. If one of the kids needs a top up, he can simply send a message to the one who looks after the money (typically the dad) who can then top up his son’s phone from his own device. Fast and hassle free.
Easy Send is a more sophisticated account and features a range of additional services over Easy Pay. Sign up is more involved, with various proofs of ID, signature and address required. It can still be done at a Mobile Money Service retailer, but the more sophisticated services require more stringent identification to comply with the anti money laundering laws. Not only can Easy Send users pay bills and top up prepaid mobile accounts, they can also send money to other Mobile Money Service users. Alternatively, they can use the service as an ATM, withdrawing cash from selected YES Bank ATMs and use their device to pay retailers who have signed up for the service.
The Nokia Money team is working flat out signing up new partners and services to the Nokia Money ecosystem. In recent weeks hundreds of merchants have been added where you can pay with your mobile. In the works are more networks and financial institutions, not to mention increasing the number of Nokia retailers who’ll be acting as outlets for the service. (Read more about Nokia Money).
Getting new Nokia retailers on board is a straightforward process. They need to submit a set of documentation, showing their financial stability and suitability for the service. Training is then provided, so they have the ability to both help users with their mobile client set up and ensure those users provide the correct documentation to sign up for the service. When a user hands over cash to a Mobile Money Service retailer, they simply take the money to the bank, as they would for a regular transaction.
Getting up and running with the service, whether you’re a retailer or a user, is fast, easy and brings a world of new opportunity to those involved. Services which were previously out of reach, or time consuming, fast become second nature to the user. The ambition for Nokia Money is to enable people to connect in new ways, and for money and mobile financial services to become an integral part of your phone. And you know what, it looks like it’s working.
Have you used the service? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
We will also have Gerhard Romen monitoring the comments over the coming days, so if you have a question about the service, feel free to ask it below.