Mphasis, ToneTag offer mobile payments with “sound waves” technology

tonetagMphasis, a leading IT services provider, and ToneTag, a sound based proximity communication provider, have started a strategic partnership to provide a range of digital banking solutions for the banking and retail industries. As part of the agreement, Mphasis will collaborate to build solutions and be an integration partner for ToneTag sound based technology globally to enable contactless proximity communication, location based services and customer engagement services among a multitude of other solutions.

“Today’s customers give a great deal of importance to their overall retail experience. The rise of mobile/smartphone usage, internet penetration and e-commerce means that consumers are now used to a seamless online shopping experience. ToneTag provides us with the technology to make such an experience available to the broadest possible audience, without the restrictions of proprietary payment technologies,” said Georg Lehmann, Senior Vice President and Head – Banking & Capital Markets, Retail and Logistics Client Delivery.

Through the partnership, ToneTag and Mphasis will bridge the online and offline spheres. The partnership aims to enrich the retail experience in the offline establishments of both banking as well as commerce industries. With this, Mphasis will be providing ultra-modern omni-channel customer engagement and frictionless checkout solutions to benefit physical outlets, dealerships, bank branches as well as experience stores.

Lehmann added, “Our partnership with ToneTag is critical as their adoption of blockchain technology to enhance security of mobile payments also aligns with our intent to explore and experiment with blockchain technology to build relevant solutions for our global banking clients. ToneTag’s sound wave technology offers an additional layer of security and fraud-proofing that our banking and retail clients are demanding.”

Kumar Abhishek, CEO at ToneTag said, “We’re delighted by the technological partnership with Mphasis as our products perfectly complement each other. Physical retail has been slow to adapt to changing market conditions, especially when you look at competition from other channels such as e-commerce. The banking industry has also been wary of change. With this partnership we wish to enrich these sectors and bring about a better user experience for all involved.”

NFC has been the most used technology of fintech industry when it comes to mobile payments. But many players around the world have been working on alternative technologies that could provide the same experience as NFC but don’t come with the high costs involved with NFC deployment and adoption.

Sound, an energy that is all around us, can be used to transmit information. Since sound can travel through any matter, the technology is wireless, contactless and can be transmitted and received by any speaker or microphone respectively. Microsoft has already showcased ‘Dhwani’, an experimental payment solution that could emulate NFC through acoustics. Though successful, Microsoft never deployed the technology in the real world.

China’s Alipay, the payment wing of Alibaba, one of the largest e-tailers in the world, had also launched sound based payments early in 2013. They had also integrated this technology into the Beijing subway system successfully, where commuters could frictionlessly pay for their tickets at kiosks with their smartphones.

Soundpays, a Candian startup is another company that utilizes soundwaves to enable payments. The company enables offline proximity payments, and also introduces online payment capabilities through sound, where it allows customers to make one-click payments from a TV show, billboard or webpage with the Soundpays audio or video embedded into it.

ToneTag also enables offline proximity payments through soundwaves. The ToneTag software algorithm (SDK) needs to be integrated at both ends of payment process, the Issuer (Mobile Wallets, Mobile Banking apps, Retail and Payment apps etc.) as well as the Acquirer (EDC, POS, mPOS, Phones, PCs etc.)

Once integrated, the customer can make payments using any payment instrument such as mobile wallets, credit/debit cards, bank account, supported loyalty cards etc. The technology is highly interoperable, working on most existing infrastructure. The ability to pay in-app through phone ensures a completely frictionless payment and shopping experience. ToneTag also delivers IoT solutions that use soundwaves for omni-channel marketing and customer engagement.

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Categories: Mobile Payments

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