LAHORE The MCB Bank Limited and the Nokia have reached a historic cooperation agreement for the development and extension of financial services to millions of mobile phone users. The bank will launch the worlds first money transfer platform through a mobile company in Pakistan which enjoys a wide distribution network in the worlds one of the fast growing handset market. The MCB Bank Mobile Money Service powered by Nokia will allow its mobile phone users to transfer money to another person by using the persons mobile phone number and also top-up the prepaid card of any mobile services or pay post-paid mobile and utility bills as well as cashless shopping. The Mobile Money Service will be available to all MCB Bank and Nokia customers wherein they can pay for shopping and utility bills direct from their Nokia mobile phones. Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony, M U A Usmani, President MCB Bank said that first time a leading financial institution has partnered with a leading handset manufacturer and mobile solutions company to offer low cost financial services. MCB and Nokia have forged a complex cross industry partnership. The deal will see both the development and extension of the next generation of low cost banking products and services targeted at millions of mobile phone users in Pakistan. This is the first time that a leading financial institution has partnered with a global leader in handset manufacturing to offer innovative and transformative payment solutions and services, said Mr Usmani. He said the potential of the service is enormous as mobile phone users outnumber the bank account holders. Expressing his views on the partnership, Teppo Paavola, GM Mobile Financial Services at Nokia said, Being the most trusted and loved brand in Pakistan, Nokia is well positioned to connect both the unbanked and banked world with its mobile devices and solutions. Nokia is committed to financial inclusion in emerging markets, and Pakistan, in our view, has one of the fastest evolving mobile money ecosystem in the world. MCB is the most significant player in this ecosystem. With our experience and expertise in the area and a reliable and right banking partner like MCB, we are very confident that Nokia will make life easier and better for millions in Pakistan with Nokia Money service. And this is what we do best Connecting People to what matters to them Ali Mubashir Kazmi, SEVP and Group Head Consumer Banking at MCB Bank talking to The Nation said that MCB was not only the first bank in Pakistan to launch a mobile financial service for its customers, but one that truly empowered them with financial mobility. He went on to say The upside of our cooperation with NOKIA in extending banking and payment services to a largely underserved segment of our society has the potential to both improve and transform not only millions of lives at home but also in other countries where MCB has financial services and banking operations running. Our product teams have been constructing the next generation of mobile banking products and services and our partnership with NOKIA will allow for wide spread distribution, compelling user experiences and rapid take up of our mobile financial services across Pakistan. MCB has a proven track record of taking mobile financial services to market and has a developed understanding of customer financial needs. Nokia will enable MCB-mobile money customers to not only have compelling user experiences on Nokia handsets right out of the box through a preloaded money client, but also by making available downloadable 'Money clients for MCB branchless banking customers. The timelines for the launch of Nokia Money with MCB will be announced later.