The Reserve Bank of India says Yes Bank Ltd. may proceed with plans to provide a mobile-phone based payment and funds-transfer service in association with handset-maker Nokia Corp., a spokesperson from the central bank confirms to PaymentsSource. The service enables bill payments and funds transfers for Yes Bank customers using Nokia handsets.

In March, Yes Bank and Nokia teamed up to pilot Nokia Money, a mobile-commerce service, in the Indian city of Pune under the brand name of "Mobile Money Services" ( see story).

The pilot, still under way, is using technology from U.S.-based Obopay, the mobile-payment service provider in which Nokia invested about US$70 million last year. Obopay’s technology provides the back-end processing for the service.

The pilot in Pune thus far has been successful, according to an official at Yes Bank, which has not said when a full rollout might occur.

To use the service, new customers would go to a Nokia outlet and become accountholders with Yes Bank after filling out an application form. Existing Yes Bank customers also could register for Nokia Money at the outlets directly. Nokia would credit the users’ Nokia Money accounts with funds transferred from their Yes Bank accounts. Nokia Money users then could use their phones to initiate payments to participating billers and retailers or to transfer funds to listed beneficiaries.

“The users will have to pay 5 rupees (11 U.S. cents or 9 euro cents) to 10 rupees per transaction for utility bills, and a 2% commission for other transactions,” the Yes Bank official adds.

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