Identive Group, Inc. and NXP Semiconductors N.V. are to provide innovative near field communication (NFC) payment tags to Yeldi Softcom Pvt Ltd to support the launch of its ‘ara eTap’ cashless payment application in India. The NFC payment tags are affixed to the back of a mobile phone to enable cashless “tap and pay” transactions.
“Mobile technology is rapidly being adopted by a broad demographic in India, which is spurring significant interest in mobile commerce,” said Lakshmi Deepa, chief executive officer of Yeldi Softcom, a subsidiary of the Yeldi Group that focuses on the development of telecommunications technology. “The NFC payment tags from Identive and NXP make it possible for us to equip Indian consumers with the means of making cashless payments and other transactions without the need for a more expensive smart phone with in-built NFC. The tags can be used with both new and existing mobile phones, making the ara eTap application available to the majority of the population. Transactions are secure and the ability to reload cash to the tag adds to the convenience.”
With targeted deployment of 300,000 mobile phones and millions of NFC tags, Yeldi Softcom aims to speed the transition from cumbersome, cash-based transactions to a world of convenient mobile payments for Indian consumers. ara eTap customers can use the NFC payment tag to load cash onto their phones from their personal bank accounts or from a special escrow account set up with Yeldi Softcom. In addition to paying for retail items, tag holders can use the application to pay utility bills, recharge mobiles or book movie and travel tickets, and also can earn reward points on every usage. Yeldi Softcom expects to launch ara eTap in the coming months and is currently signing up merchants across India to distribute the NFC payment tags and support the cashless payment application.
To address Yeldi Softcom’s requirements for the ara eTap program, Identive developed a unique NFC payment tag based on its patent-pending tom® (tag on metal) smart inlay technology, which shields the tag’s radio frequency signal from the metal in the mobile phone to allow a reliable, high-performance connection between the tag and phone. The tag is manufactured using an abrasion-resistant surface and unique printing process that offers unsurpassed protection and longevity when deployed on mobile phones in the field.
For the chip technology within the tag, Identive worked closely with its longstanding tag IC provider NXP Semiconductors, the co-inventor and market leader of NFC. “Yeldi´s new ara eTap is a major step forward for micro cashless payment in India and beyond. NXP, the leader in the global identification market, provides Identive and Yeldi with a complete payment solution based on our secure MIFARE DESFire platform and award winning PN65 mobile transaction IC. The MIFARE DESFire ICs for Identive´s Yeldi project are NFC tag type 4 compliant and already successfully used in the New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai transport ticketing schemes,” said Martin Gruber, general manager, MIFARE product line, NXP Semiconductors.
“Identive has made a significant investment in developing innovative NFC technology to support cashless payment applications such as ara eTap and we are pleased to support the launch of this ground-breaking program,” said Dr. Manfred Mueller, COO of Identification Products for Identive.