ToneTag introduces an offline method that uses sound for fund transactions
From V. Sudhakshina
Bangalore, December 8 2016: The recent demonetization by government has changed the way we do banking in India. More and more people are being pushed towards digital payments rather than than cash transactions. Even though wallets like PayTM, Freecharge, MobiKwik, etc are becoming popular even with small time vendors like a pani-puri wala or kirana wala, it still needs a basic infrastructure that includes a good data connection and a smart device. There are still parts in this country with no Internet reach and there are many who don’t own a smart phone and are still using feature phones. And even for some of the vendors who have access to data, the fees for going digital is turning out to be a costly affair. A Bangalore-based start -up, ToneTag has found the solution for this problem by introducing a cashless payment feature that doesn’t require Internet connection.
The firm has introduced a technology that uses ‘tone tag’; a term for audio signals, which enables exchange of information between two devices. This doesn’t require any software set-up and is a hardware independent feature that will work on any device, be it a laptop, feature phone, smart phone, tablet, etc. the only criterion is that the device should have a micro-phone and a speaker. All a consumer needs to do is dial a toll free IVR number and bring his device close to the merchant’s ToneTag enabled device, confirm the payment amount and enter his banking pin to transfer funds. Once this is done the device pays a loud beeping tone for about 5 to 10 seconds and the information is transmitted from the customer’s device to the merchant’s device. There is an option for payment directly via your bank account or using the debit or credit card.
In conversation with IndiaTechOnline, Kumar Abhishek, CEO, ToneTag said, “Today any wallet you take, there’s a lot of burning. 1.2 percent they charge to burn the wallet and then they start making money on top of that. Our technology is built on an open architecture. Any bank who has issued any card to an Indian citizen can ride on this. We are not building relationships with every bank and with the network, which is NPCI(National Payments Corporation of India).”
He added that the service is free of charge for consumers and from the merchant’s end they take anything between 15 to 50 paise per 100 rupee transaction.
Addressing security concerns, Abhishek said that all the data transferred between two devices is in encrypted format. The processing takes place through IMPS or existing IVR banking infrastructure in real-time.
The technology is now available and can be accessed by dialing a toll free number: 180030101887. ToneTag has also plans to partner with banks to make this feature more accessible to the customers. Some of its current tie-ups include YES Bank, ICICI Bank, etc. The company also has plans to launch this technology at a few toll plazas and parking lots in Bangalore and Mumbai.
Link to Android app