Tech Mahindra’s MoboMoney Bring Sound Based Contactless Payments in Partnership with ToneTag
Contactless payments through Near Field Communication(NFC) are quite popular in the west and have become one of the benchmarks for popular handset makers. You must have heard about Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or simply use your debit/credit card through your phone without actually taking it out. FIngerprint scan on the phone or a One-Time Password(OTP) validate the transaction, making it very secure at any merchant.
Contactless transactions have yet not become a rage in the country, which was started by ICICI back in 2015 to allow ‘Tap n Pay’ through the NFC card or mobile phone on the POS machine. Mobomoney, Tech Mahindra’s NFC based digital wallet, has now collaborated with ToneTag, a mobile payment solution service, to allow contactless payments through sound.
Vivek Chandok, Head-Consumer Business at Tech Mahindra, talked about the partnership, “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.”
About MoboMoney and ToneTag
With the rise in digital wallets in the country, many firms felt the need to launch one of their own to make a presence in the ever-expanding payments market. MoboMoney is a mobile wallet application, launched in late 2015, to serve the purpose of a contactless payment with the help of an NFC tag. The smartphone, with NFC, can be simply tapped at an NFC enabled merchant POS and payment can be done through the e-wallet. Everything in the form of cash can be converted into digital money and directly used for online payments as well as offline through NFC.
ToneTag is a Bangalore-based startup that aims to solve the problem of contactless payments with or without the need of an NFC tag. Payments can be done through emitted sound waves, which represents the tone, or through NFC, which represents tag. The payment can be done without the need of internet and either of the methods can be activated depending on the device being used by the merchant.
A proprietary Software Development Kit(SDK) is used to integrate at both the merchant side(point of sale) and at the customer’s side through mobile wallet or banking applications. For a transaction to happen, both the merchant and customer will have to use ToneTag integrated devices.
Now when you think of both the services, it will automatically make sense to combine the two and make payments relatively simpler and convenient for users. This is the reason two separate entities have joined hands to integrate separate components into one and provide sound-based payment solutions.
How will this benefit the users?
Up until now, every time you made payments through a digital wallet you required internet and if you’re buying groceries from a not-so-connected place, you’re out of luck. MoboMoney and ToneTag want to end such a situation and provide an internet-free payment solution.
ToneTag’s sound based proximity payment technology integrated into MoboMoney’s application will allow a user to pay without contact or an NFC tag. This will allow payments through non-NFC enabled phones as well. The sound waves carry the transaction data to the merchant POS and successfully complete the transaction.
Since there is no need for any additional hardware equipment during payments, this type of transaction can be done in any type of situation, even at places where MoboMoney is accepted. This technology will work on feature phones as well, since there is no need of an internet connection or an NFC chip.
In addition, MoboMoney claims that this service can be used for peer-to-peer money transfer between two mobile phones. In case the merchant has a smartphone with the same service, the customer can simply transfer digital money through various frequencies of sound waves to the merchant’s device.
If this service expands rapidly, it will have the tendency to disrupt the market and enable secure contactless payments between customers and merchants. Since this does not require the use of any physical card, a mere touch of a button on the MoboMoney application will send invisible data to the merchant’s device and deposit digital money in their account.
I am sure over next few months most mobile wallet companies will try to implement such features in their wallet too, as this really has potential to become an ideal frictionless and contactless digital payment channel!