The world's biggest handset manufacturer Nokia is teaming up with India's Yes Bank on a commercial mobile financial services pilot in Pune.
The pilot scheme will let people transfer money to another person simply by using their mobile phone number. They'll also be able to pay utility bills and top up SIM cards while the ability to pay for goods and services is expected to be added in the future.
The system is based on technology from Obopay, the California m-payments start-up Nokia took a minority stake in - understood to be worth $70 million - last year. Soon after, the pair unveiled a mobile financial management and payments service targeted at unbanked people in developing countries.
At the time they predicted the service would be rolled out in "selected markets" this year and have now confirmed India as an early test site. Obopay and Yes Bank already had a partnership, enabling person-to-person and person-to-bank mobile payments.
India has the fastest growing cellular market in the world, says Obopay. There are 500 million mobile phones in the country now but this is expected to be reach than 900 million by the end of 2013. Meanwhile, 41% of the population does not even have a bank account.