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.