Nokia Money in India acquired by Fino

Nokia Money in India acquired by Fino

Summary: In an all-cash deal, Fino India will acquire Nokia Money.


Earlier this year in March, in an abrupt development Nokia India decided to discontinue Nokia Money. The service was Nokia's mobile wallet, conceptually different to Google Wallet or Passbook. Nokia Money required users to go to a Nokia dealer hand in cash and the user could use his Nokia phone to make payments for this amount. Unlike in the US, this model did have some merit in India since, as Nokia pointed out, they had several dealers across the country. Unfortunately, despite a pilot and launch, Nokia called it quits on the service.

The company laid out the shut down plan that included refunding customers and getting their license discontinued; back then, Nokia said the service will remain operational for at least 3-4 months. According to reports, Nokia seems to have finalized their exit strategy. Fino India will acquire Nokia Money. Fino, short for Financial Information Network and Operation, was started in 2006 and has names from the biggest banks in India—ICICI, HSBC, Corporation Bank, LIC etc.—on its stakeholder roster. The company known for their business correspondence services in the banking sector planned to launch their own Nokia Money like service but decided to buy Nokia's suffering business.

Fino expects mobile payments to be a $350 Billion market by 2015. Fino CEO Manish Khera shared some numbers about Nokia Money:

  • During Nokia Money's best time they had 12 lakh users
  • Turnover reported during good times: 1 Crore+ INR a month ($0.175 Million)
  • As of now there are 7 to 8 lakh total users

Fino expects to leverage their current infrastructure and reach to regain lost interest in the service.

Topic: Nokia

Manan Kakkar

About Manan Kakkar

Telecommunication engineer with a keen interest in end-user technology and a News junkie, I share my thoughts while preparing for my Master's in Information Management.

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  • Nokia has no need for this no

    Since Nokia mobile is for practical purposes is under control by Microsoft, Nokia does not need this anymore. Microsoft will have there own payment system, which Nokia will have to use. Nokia's CEO, ex-Microsoft exec, Elop has made had sure that Nokia has to rely on Microsoft.
  • Nokia Money

    Nokia Money was a fantastic project and a great business.... The software was awesome.. Nokia dealer network was great...but Nokia had lost touch in the market due to poor management decisions...

    1) They struck to feature phones when the entire market was moving to Smart phones.

    2) At least features phones were good? No they were dam low quality phones can be called as lowest basic phones for a high rates of 5k- 9k. They were releasing a phone with VGA camera and a low end stamp size screen whose pixels were visible as square blocks and the phone was priced for Rs.4.5k. Huawei gave much better phone for 3000.

    So called 2mp camera phone was having a screen of 1.2inches and screen was not even a TFT lcd screen and for 6000rs. They lost that market too.

    3) They stopped CDMA phones at the right time where CDMA call rates were getting cheaper. ( Good job, as a Nokia slider keypad CDMA with 2MP camera was costing 16000 and Samsung gave a full capacitive touch screen TV mobile for 9000..)

    4) Even the Lumia GSM phone did not have a blue tooth and front camera after paying 19000 and what did they believe, people will hug it?

    5) Egoistic management decision for not adopting Android.... Nokia was after all a handset manufacturer... They had to make profit by selling hardware and not software.... This was a very poor mamagement decision giving the way to Samsung, LG, Sony, Huawei. Now they have to wait till Microsft mobile os becomes popular....and ask Microsoft not to make mobiles them self.

    After all these huge losses and market share dropping for a 92% in the last five years, Management decides to close all the extra business.....but this was well settled on. They brought in 8 lakh customers without any TV / net/ paper ads all over the country except in cities like Noida, Pune....

    Honestly, I always felt Nokia's top management never worked for Nokia....this was after a close watch of Nokia's management decisions and product releases since2006.

    Good Luck Nokia.
  • Will this impact prepaid mobile payments in India?

    Despite being the first entrant and pioneer of sorts in the prepaid mobile payments space, Nokia's exit is baffling. May be its a strategic decision. So now, since it is acquired by FINO, which is neither a telco, bank nor a device maker, will this have any impact on the market place? Already there are players like Airtel, Vodafone who are focusing on their own customers....
    Mobile Wallet
  • FINO shuts down Nokia (Alpha) money business - Mobile money fails in India?

    Exactly after one year FINO has closed down Nokia money business which they called Alpha money. The team has been fired and CEO sacked. Strange no one even talks about this in India. Yet another classical failure of mobile money . Authorities at FINO are tight lipped about it. They are in process of returning money of customers and merchants .
    Such failures weaken customer confidence in new payment systems.