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    Does Nokia have plans to launch its own NFC payments service?

    The handset giant has submitted international trademark applications for a new brand name, ‘Nokia Money’, described as a financial transaction service providing secure transactions using a mobile phone at a point of sale.

    NOKIA MONEY: The trademark application covers the provision of 'payment options using a mobile device at a point of sale'

    NOKIA MONEY: The trademark application covers the provision of 'payment options using a mobile device at a point of sale'

    Nokia has submitted trademark applications for the brand name ‘Nokia Money’ in a number of international jurisdications, prompting speculation that the handset manufacturer may have plans to launch its own payments service.

    First spotted by IntoMobile, the trademark applications have been submitted in two Nice classes. Under class nine, Nokia Money is described as “Computer software to enable mobile telephones to transfer money from one bank account to another bank account”. Under class 36, it is described as “Financial transaction services, namely, providing secure commercial transactions and payment options using a mobile device at a point of sale.”

    Of course, transferring money and making payments does not necessarily have to involve NFC — but, coming from Nokia, which has heavily invested in NFC trials around the world and still has the world’s only commercially available NFC phone, near field communication is the obvious technology being referred to here.

    The filing therefore adds a potentially new twist to the scenarios under which it is likely that NFC services could be rolled out. To date, it has been expected that they would be led by an operator, or by a service provider such as a bank, retailer or transport operator or by a national trusted third party.

    Until now, it has been considered unlikely that a handset manufacturer would introduce its own branded service. Nokia, however, now looks as though it could be taking things into its own hands — in a similar manner, perhaps, to its introduction in 2007 of Nokia Music and its more recent launch of the Ovi Store

    Applying for a trademark in itself does not, of course, mean that Nokia has definite plans to go ahead with a Nokia Money service. The prospect, though, is certainly an intriguing one…

    • Michael Gargiulo

      Nokia has invested many millions in Obopay. My guess is that this name has do do with SMS based P2P payments

      • Sarah Clark

        Good point, Michael.

        I agree that the class nine application (Computer software to enable mobile telephones to transfer money from one bank account to another bank account) could well have something to do with Nokia's investment in Obopay.

        The class 36 application, though, (Financial transaction services, namely, providing secure commercial transactions and payment options using a mobile device at a point of sale) hints at something rather more, I think, than an SMS based service…

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