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Sunday 29th of March 2009
March 27, 2009

Nokia invests in Obopay


by Peter Charalambous
”Nokia

Nokia has made a huge investment in a California-based start-up with the focus on making the mobile phone a viable alternative to the credit card.

Nokia have invested in Obopay Inc, although there was no disclosure of the amount of the investment or whether Nokia’s head of corporate business development, Teppo Paavolo, will get a seat on Obopay’s board.

At present, Obopay’s service is available in the US and India and allows users to pay for goods and services by text message and a number of other mobile applications.

It would work in a similar way to a credit card as the funds come out of a designated bank account or have prepay funds from an Obopay account.

According to Carol Realini, Obopay’s chief executive, there is a big gap that can be utilised as there are 4 billion phones and only 1 billion bank accounts and this will help to bridge the gap in places where financial services and systems are basic.

Nokia’s investment will help Obopay speed up its global expansion and invest more in its technology, particularly given the fact that eBay Inc.’s PayPal Mobile is competing in the US.

By purchasing a minority stake in Obopay, the firm can extend its product offering and geographical presence, whilst Nokia will be able to take advantage of the technological developments and offer the applications.

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