ICICI Bank Launches Contactless NFC-based Mobile Payment System
India’s leading private sector bank- ICICI Bank, has now launched a new NFC-based mobile payment system enabling contactless transactions via its Pockets app.
Last year, ICICI Bank had launched ‘Tap n Pay’ payment system in collaboration with Tech Mahindra where the user was required to tap an NFC tag or a mobile phone at the merchant’s PoS device for making the payments.
This time the bank has launched a truly contactless payment system where the user just has to wave his/her NFC-enabled mobile phone running Android 4.4 and above for making the payment at any merchant terminal supporting NFC.
“We are delighted to introduce yet another first in the country, a contactless mobile payment solution that that will allow cashless payments using just smartphones, thereby eliminating the need to carry cash or debit and credit cards. With India becoming the second largest market globally for mobile subscribers as well as smartphones, we expect this to be a big game changer in the Indian payment industry, as it will transform the smartphone into a virtual wallet. The key advantages of the solution are speed, simplicity and security. The speed of transactions will add momentum to cashless payments. At the same time, it will herald a shift from low value cash payments to electronic payments at physical stores including quick service restaurants and shopping marts where fast transactions are much required,” said Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director at ICICI Bank.
How ICICI iTap Works?
With the launch of contactless payments via its Pockets app, ICICI Bank has become the first financial institution in the country to employ Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology.
This technology creates virtual cards for physical debit and credit cards (Visa/MasterCard) which can then be used for making payments.
The virtual card has a different card number, but share the same credit limit and expiry date as the original physical card. The app only shows the last four digits of the virtual card, and the rest of the details are stored on the bank’s secure cloud so the user won’t lose anything in case of theft/loss of the mobile phone.
“Also, the level of security is higher since the card details are not shared during the transaction process,” added Rajiv.
While the user tries to make a payment via the Pockets app, a one-time token number is generated by the bank’s server. This token number is then encrypted and sent to the merchant’s terminal without disclosing any information of the user’s card.
How to Make A Payment
In order to make the first payment, the user will first have to login to the ‘Pockets’ app and click on the ‘Touch and Pay’ icon on the home screen, select a credit/debit card, and then click on ‘Accept terms’ for creating a Virtual card number against the original physical card.
For making another payment, click on ‘Touch and Pay’ icon, select the desired virtual card, and then wave the smartphone near the PoS machines once the merchant enters the payment to be charged.
A confirmatory message on the merchant’s terminal and the user’s phone (SMS) will confirm the transaction.
This contactless payment feature will be rolled out to all the ICICI Bank customers by the last week of March via an updated version of ‘Pockets’ app on Google Play. Keeping the RBI guidelines in mind, the app also restricts the user to make payments of Rs. 2,000 at max per transaction.
This means that you no longer have to carry anything with you but your smartphone when you go shopping next time. This contactless solution is not only fast but it also very secure for making payments. All you need is an NFC-enabled Android phone running Android KitKat and above.