Contactless payment gets UPI boost from city firm

8 months ago
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drraja_Contactless-payment-gets-UPI-boost-from-city-firm_SECVPF

Chennai:

Raja, the MD of the Senthil Navigations (P) Ltd, which owns the platform says, “Post demonetisation in Nov 2016, when UPI was introduced as a payment method, it came with a range of problems on the merchant side. This was when we got curious about the mobile payments ecosystem. We realised there was an opportunity in the contactless payment solutions space, which employs Near-field Communications (NFC) technology. This was a solution no other Indian company was offering at that time. An impediment was that only 20 per cent of smartphones in the market had a built-in NFC chip, and there was no use case scenario for NFC. So, the idea of bringing two mobile devices near each other, and enabling a contactless transaction was still not being translated into reality.”
He adds, “Our contactless UPI-based payment platform at.money (pronounced at dot money), was aimed at addressing that. Using a simple NFC sticker, a customer, with a feature phone, or smartphone, with or without internet can tap a merchant’s NFC-enabled phone, accept a payment request and confirm it to complete the transaction.
Smartphone users need not use any specific app to make payment. Instead, they are free to use any UPI app of their choice.”
The company was incorporated in 2011, and the team began developing its first product, an enhanced location service offering for banks, which could help its customers locate the bank’s branch and ATMs more efficiently. Raja says, “We found that as much as 60 per cent of locational information provided on Google Maps with respect to banks and its branches was inaccurate, which was a pain point for the customers.”
“Our USP was that we were offering validated information on the exact location of such facilities as opposed to crowdsourced information updated in Google Maps, which at times can be inaccurate. We called our product RouteStar and it was rolled out in 2013 with clients in the banking as well as the restaurant space such as Adyar Ananda Bhavan.”
The company’s second product came about as an alternative solution to the exorbitant SMS charges incurred by banks on account of sending customers messages for every transaction. “Most banks end up paying crores as bulk SMS charges, which is not even reliable as they don’t get a delivery report or even confirmation as to whether a customer has read a message from the bank or not.” “We introduced a technology called Notifie, which works like WhatsApp within a financial institution’s mobile banking app itself. The extremely-low cost model helped us gain recognition and we were selected for PayPal’s incubation programme in 2015.”
HOW IT WORKS FOR CUSTOMERS?
  • Customer on-boarding: A customer with valid UPI VPA (Virtual Payment Address) can link at.money NFC Tag with their VPA by visiting at.money’s page
  • Making Payment: When at.money NFC Tag is tapped to merchant’s NFC enabled phone, payment collect request will be sent to customer’s UPI VPA. Customer can view the payment collect request in the UPI App used to generate VPA. After verifying the merchant name, UPI VPA, amount and remarks in the payment request, customer can accept and enter MPIN to pay

Source : DT next

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