Sound Based Payments – The way to go forward

what is sound based payment technology

The magical combination of increasingly connected world, technological innovations and expanding mobile phone market is greatly transforming Fintech industry. India currently is witnessing a transition from a traditional cash driven to cashless economy. Amid this revolution, Finetch firms are embracing technology and leveraging growth of mobile owners to make payments much easier and secure for the end users.  Latest ship at the dockyard of technology is “Sound based Payments”. This radical technology is definitely a game changer enabling payments without Internet connectivity.

While our devices are ever more connected, but still poor connectivity while using Internet is a big hurdle for making payments. In such a case, data is transferred using peer-to-peer connectivity like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Direct, or Near-field communication (NFC). But again, these solutions have specific requirements of hardware and APIs which may not be available in all the devices. However, every device comes with a microphone and a speaker. So here comes an alternative, i.e. data transmission using sound waves.

Thus, use of sound based transmission in the form of “Sound Based Payment” is going to benefit the Fintech industry the most. Such payments work independently of Internet connectivity or communication tool such as NFC to enable payment. User can offer payment from smartphones, feature phones, card swipe machines and point-of-sale devices with the use of sound.

Benefits of sound based payment

Working of Sound Based Payments              

Sound based payments can be made by anyone having a bank account and a mobile phone. Using a unique ultra high frequency encrypted sound-based technology will enable you to pay directly from any of your bank accounts or credit/debit cards to the merchant account offline.

In the process of Sound wave technology, data is encoded into sound waves with the help of an algorithm which can then be transmitted to make offline payments. To make this happen, algorithm has to be integrated in the buyer’s mobile phone as well as the merchant’s phone or card readers.

  1. Merchant enter payment detail like bill amount on his device
  2. Numbers are converted to analog format with using the Algorithm
  3. Encrypted analoged data is transmitted to buyer’s phone as a sound signal
  4. Buyer’s phone is placed near merchant’s device to receive signals
  5. Buyer’s phone receivess data and decrypts the received data.
  6. Payment can then be made using debit card / credit card / digital wallet.

Working Prototype:

Using this technology we have built a prototype. This prototype has an input field where you can type the text you want to send. When you press the “Send” button, the data is continuously broadcasted alternatively with the Barker code. When another user is close enough to pick up the signal he can press the “Receive” button to get the data on his phone.  If the decoding failed (probably due to the surrounding relatively strong interference), it continues to monitor a sound wave transmission, continue decoding.

It is the magical new way to share your stuff – using sound. We can easily transfer any data and it would just require one action from the sender (starting to broadcast) and one action for the receiver (starting listening to all broadcasts).


AEPS – Leading a Way to New Age Banking

Aadhaar Enabled Payment System

What is Aadhaar Enabled Payment System?
Aadhaar Enabled Payment System or AEPS is a payment service developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) allowing banks, financial institutions to use “Aadhaar” number and online UIDAI authentication for transactions through their respective Business correspondent service centres. AEPS, a new age banking service has been approved by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

AEPS functions through the National Financial Switch of NPCI, which is also used for routing interbank ATM transactions and Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS).

Aadhaar – a key enabler as a part of JAM (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile) plays a key role in AEPS.

What does a customer need for doing transactions under AEPS?

The inputs required by the customer to do a transaction under this scenario are:-
1.  Issuer Identification Number (IIN) – It is a unique, six digit number issued by NPCI to bank. Previously known as BIN or Bank identification number, IIN identifies the bank to which the customer has mapped his/her Aadhaar number.
2. Aadhaar Number
3. Fingerprint captured during their enrollment

AEPS

What are the key objectives of Aadhaar Enabled Payment System?

Key objectives of AEPS, as per GoI and RBI are

  1. Empowering the customer to use basic banking functionalities such as balance enquiry, cash withdrawals, cash deposits and Aadhaar to Aadhaar funds transfer, remittances across banks (both intrabank and interbank) using his/her single identity i.e. Aadhaar.
  2. Enhancing financial inclusion
  3. Facilitating the disbursements of various schemes like NREGA, MGNREGA
  4. Digitization of retail payments and thus assisting in financial policy making
  5. Interoperable, safe, convenient, secure service offering full range Aadhaar based banking solutions.
  6. NPCI to act as a central switching and clearing house for Aadhaar initiated banking transactions

What are the Pre-requisites for using AEPS?

  1. A resident of India holding an Aadhaar number and having a bank account may become a part of the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System.
  2. Customer needs to have a bank account linked to his/ her Aadhaar number with bank offering AEPS services
  3. In case of multiple accounts linked with Aadhaar, only primary account will receive all the AEPS transactions
  4. There is no separate registration or enrollment required for AEPS if bank account is linked to Aadhaar number. However, if the bank account number had not been linked to Aadhaar at the time of Aadhaar enrollment then customer has to approach his/her bank for linking bank account with Aadhaar number.
  5. Beneficiary customer should also have an Aadhaar (UID) number linked with any bank, with which they maintain an account (bank should be a part of AEPS network) and in which he intends to receive the credit.
  6. AEPS transactions can be initiated during the business hours of the respective BC centre of the sponsored bank.
  7. Minimum balance for AEPS transaction is decided by the respective bank where customer has the Aadhaar linked bank account number

How does the safety and security of AEPS transactions ensured?

AEPS is a safe and convenient channel enabling micropayments. Every terminal (MicroATM) has the encryption as per UIDAI norms & in case of any deviation, transaction will get rejected with an error code as “invalid encryption” on the terminal.

AEPS only supports real time online biometric verification using the Aadhaar number. The fingerprints/biometrics submitted during the enrolment of the individual need to match at the UIDAI server end to make any transaction successful.

How can customer check if his Aadhaar linked bank supports AEPS?

Customer can check the details on www.npci.org