Thursday, 4 February 2016

MoboMoney launches sound based contactless payments

Tech Mahindra, as part of its strategy to promote digital payments, announced the launch of India’s first commercial NFC enabled merchant payment network - MoboMoney. In order to enable a larger segment of merchants and consumers to participate in the digital payment ecosystem, MoboMoney has collaborated with ToneTag for the use of its patented technology that is integrated into the MoboMoney mobile application. This will allow consumers to pay using sound. For MoboMoney, this is another feature in addition to NFC that will take contactless payments to the masses.
ToneTag is a software development kit (SDK) that allows offline, contactless and secure  payments using sound as well as near-filed communication (NFC) depending upon the user device and retail POS hardware. As this technology enables contactless payments through sound-waves, there is no dependence on any specific platform and will enable payments on any device such as smartphones, EDC machines, POS (point of sale) devices, and even feature phones. Since there are no additional hardware requirements to use the technology, this will enable a wider and inclusive ecosystem in which the MoboMoney wallet can be accepted to make digital payments for both online and offline transactions. The payments using sound will work on the existing MoboMoney ecosystem as well.

ToneTag’s sound based proximity payment technology integrated into MoboMoney application reduces or eliminates the cost of accepting cashless proximity payments. It works on any mobile device and no Internet access is required on the user’s device at the time of initiating payment. A customer can even pay through his or her basic, feature phone using this technology. In addition to merchant payments this technology can facilitate peer-to-peer money transfer between two mobile devices. The consumer initiates the payment and the merchant accepts, leading to data transfer using audible or inaudible sound frequencies.

The MoboMoney application has been designed to ensure a secure transaction with multiple layers of encryption. Since the technology is also compatible with legacy POS terminals, it enables proximity payments to work on existing 1.2 million POS terminal network in India, without the need to upgrade the terminals to contactless NFC devices. It would also bring the opportunity to make around 14 million merchants in India to accept cashless, digital payments on their phones with minimal or no investments.

Outlining the ease of access this collaboration brings to the table, Mr. Vivek Chandok, Head - Consumer Business, Tech Mahindra Ltd., said “With close to 1 billion mobile consumers and a large population of consumers even in rural areas now owning smartphones, we plan to rapidly expand the offline payment ecosystem for a seamless payment experience. This association will simplify the user experience wherein customers and merchants can directly download the MoboMoney mobile application integrated with ToneTag SDK to start making and accepting digital payments.”

“Earlier it required a physical POS terminal or NFC enabled phone at merchant end and NFC tag or NFC phone at consumer end, in order to enable contactless payments. This will allow end-users with Android-enabled low cost smartphones to start accepting (Merchant end) and making (Consumer end) digital payments, by simply going to Google Play Store and downloading the mobile application. The technology can also be used, in future, to simplify the peer-to-peer money transfer experience with users just needing to tap their smartphones in which the MoboMoney application is installed”

Kumar Abhishek, Chief Executive Officer of ToneTag said, “MoboMoney and ToneTag have come together to expand the digital payment ecosystem by enabling any user equipped with a feature phone or smartphone to accept or make contactless payments. This has the potential to disrupt the payments industry by enabling 1 billion-plus consumers to make offline payments using their mobile phone in a simpler and convenient way.”