Report: Nokia to shut Nokia Money

Nokia will be exiting the service in India, issue refunds, and hand over the service to their partner banks (YES and Union Bank).

Nokia under Stephen Elop has shown promise, listening to Elop talk at most conferences it feels like he knows what he is doing. For Nokia, maintaining their stronghold in countries like India is important. At the recently concluded Mobile World Congress, Nokia expanded their Asha line of entry-level basic cell phones meant for South Asia and Africa. At their last MWC event, the company talked quite a bit about their strategies for these growing economies and mobile payments was seen as a unique selling point. Nokia made a strategic investment in Obopay ($70 Million) back in 2009 and launched the service in India quite recently. After a year long pilot program, the company announced the launch of Nokia Money across India in December, last year.

In a surprising update from Thomas K Thomas at The Hindu, Nokia will be shutting Nokia Money. I wrote about Nokia Money being one of Nokia's possible trump cards in India as part of their Nokia Life Tools suite. The company however believes that Nokia Money is not a part of their core areas and hence should not be a focus. Thomas writing for The Hindu provides details on how Nokia will proceed with their exit , at least in India. Here's what Nokia is expected to do:

  • Issue refunds for the registration fees starting March 15
  • Approach the Reserve Bank of India to cancel their license
  • Continue the service for a 3-4 months
  • Absorb all or most of the 100 employees working in the division

In India, Nokia partnered with YES Bank and Union Bank, The Hindu's report suggests the two banks will take over the service and Nokia will help in the transition. There is no official confirmation about Nokia's plans and what will Nokia's exit strategy be for other countries.


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