A Journey into the World of Mobile Payments

Mobile Payment

India is witnessing a digital revolution especially in the Fintech and payment landscape. The reason could largely be attributed to the advent and innovation of smart technologies paving a way to new-age digital banking and mobile payment system in the country. Along with this, Government and other regulatory bodies in India are making all the necessary changes to move the country from a cash-based to less-cash and ultimately to a cashless society. Let’s explore more about Digital Payments in India, their rise, major challenges and solutions.

Rise in Mobile and Digital Payments

At one point of time mobile phones in India were regarded as an item of luxury, but now it has become an item of utility making mobile a low-cost mean to access digital payments.

Mobile Payment

Most Common Ways of Mobile Payments

Now let us check how you can use your mobile to make payments!

QR Code-based Merchant Payment

QR Code payments are gaining momentum as many wallet companies are relying on this mode of digital payment. It greatly reduces the cost of merchant set up in regard to POS terminal cost. Also the merchant boarding process is much simpler in QR-Code based payment.

How to works?

  • Every merchant wallet has an associated QR Code. The QR code sticker is normally displayed at the cash-counters.
  • For making the payment, the customer scans the QR code through their mobile wallets, enter the specific amount and choose to pay through the money in their wallet.
  • After the completion of the payment, an SMS or in-app notification is sent to the merchant and the customer.

Aadhaar-based Payment

To make Aadhaar-based payment, merchant needs a biometric scanner and an account linked to the Aadhaar database. Instead of biometric scanner merchant can also use the mobile phones with iris scanners. It further reduces the set up cost as eliminates the need of biometric scanner.

How it works?

  • Customer will scan his/her finger on biometric device or iris scanner enabled on phone.
  • Verification of the customer through the Aadhaar-associated account number
  • Transaction is processed
  • Transaction confirmed through SMS / in-app notification

UPI Payments

Each customer will get a unique ID from the UPI which will act as his/her payment address. Funds can then be transferred electronically using mobile and the unique ID.

  • Customer will login to UPI app as given by the Payment Service Provider (PSP).
  • Customer enters the amount and the merchant’s information
  • Authentication of the transaction by the customer using MPIN
  • PSP will process the transaction through the UPI network and authorize by the customer’s bank
  • The customer and the merchant get a payment notification
  • The merchant now logs into the UPI app and request a payment by entering the customer’s payment address and the amount.
  • PSP processes the transaction through NPCI and sends an authorization requests to the customer
  • Customer then approves the payment. Transaction is processed by debiting the customer’s account, crediting the merchant’s account and providing a transaction notification to both the merchant and the customer

USSD Payments
*99# is a USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) based mobile banking service from NPCI that brings together diverse ecosystem partners such as Banks & TSPs (Telecom Service Providers). Using *99# service, a customer can access financial services by dialling *99# from his/her mobile registered with the bank. The service works across all GSM service providers and handsets

  1. Fund Transfer using Mobile Number and MMID – User can transfer fund using MMID and Mobile number of the Beneficiary.
  2. Fund Transfer using IFSC and Account Number – User can transfer fund using IFS Code and Account number of the Beneficiary.
  3. Fund Transfer using Aadhaar Number – User can transfer fund using Aadhaar number of the Beneficiary


With the recent demonetization drive, e-Wallets companies in India have received a huge push. You can add money in your e-wallets from your bank via credit/debit cards or net banking which then can be used to make payments. E-wallets or mobile wallets are virtual wallets allowing customers to pay for almost anything and everything. Majority of wallets are closed wallets i.e. money transference between people with the same wallet or payments at merchants can be made who are authorised to accept from that particular e-wallet.

Mobile Payment Challenges

Though number of mobile payments are increasing in the country yet these are not free from challenges. Few of the hurdles are –

Need of Global Standards

In order to make the mobile payments a reality in India, we need to have standards and interoperability in place. Achieving international compatibility, common interfaces and use of single platform for making payments will increase the mobile payment engagement.

Poor Connectivity

Two/third of India’s total population is still rural, making it approximately 870 million people. Internet penetration in most of the remote areas and rural India is a problem. This impacts the speed of transactions and results in poor customer experience. Customer might rethink to make mobile payment if a solution to poor connectivity is not found.

Digital Literacy

A large chunk of India’s population is not tech savvy and uncomfortable in using technology for making payments. Customers need to be educated and the technology must be simplified further.

Security Concerns

Mobile payment in India can gain traction only if the security concerns are met and dealt with as data security is still an issue. Most of the consumers worries about the data being  leaked to some wrong hands during processing.

Mobile Payment Challenges 

Here are the solutions to the Mobile Payment Challenges –

Mobile Payment


UMANG – A Master App for 200+ eGov Services


Aiming to target the Digital India dream, the government is coming up with a unified mobile platform and application – Unified Mobile Application for New age Governance (UMANG ). UMANG will enable access to e-Gov services to all the citizens of India. It will be a master app with integrated services such as national scholarship, CBSE/State Education Boards, passport services, income tax, women safety, e-Post, land records, DigiLocker and many more offered by Centre, states and even from local bodies & their agencies.

What is UMANG?

UMANG is an acronym for Unified Mobile Application for New Age Governance and will be developed by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s  (MeitY)   National E-governance Division (NeGD). The app will integrate 200+ government services which would be available on an app, an SMS service and IVR.

Why do we need  UMANG ?

Presently there are plethora of apps by various government departments for citizens to access e-Government services. Different apps for different e-Gov services lead to confusion, resulting in the lesser usage of apps.

UMANG, a revolutionary app will address the above issue along with making the entire gamut of e-Gov services available under one roof.

  • UMANG will add convenience offering single unified platform.
  • UMANG will be easy to use and will be available in multiple languages.
  • Citizens of India would be able to find all government services at a go.

How will UMANG work?

User has to download just a single app to access all the e-Gov services integrated on it. The app will store the personal details, preferences of the citizen eliminating the need to re-enter the details every time. UMANG will also include documents such as Aadhaar Card and DigiLocker. The app will be available in 13 languages over smartphone and internet.

Features of UMANG

  • One App, URL, SMS Code and IVR (Toll Free) Number
  • A robust cloud based platform at the back-end
  • No duplication of efforts => Efficiency, Lower Cost
  • Convergence of efforts
  • Unified Access
  • Multilingual Access and Support


Umang-Master of all apps


Spice Digital and UMANG

Spice Digital has always been at the forefront in bridging the digital divide in the country. We are now a proud partner agency for design, development and delivery of UMANG project. Our skilled technology team is developing UMANG Platform and with extensive experience in app development, we are also facilitating the integration of department APIs & providing maintenance and development support.

Aadhaar Enabled Mini ATMs – A New Age Banking Solution

Cash Withdrawal - Spice Money Mini ATM

India is witnessing a Fintech revolution owing to technological advancements and various Government initiatives. One of the most talked about initiatives is Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana which aims to ensure access to various financial services — savings bank accounts, availability of need based credit, remittances facility, insurance and pension to low income groups across India. However, the last-mile of cash-disbursal remains a challenge even today with only 2,25,000 ATMs for all banks against the population of about 1.2 billion.

Cash Withdrawal using ATM  – A challenge to unravel

Though the number of ATM per million population is increasing i.e. from 105 in 2012 to about 300 in 2017, yet ATM market is underpenetrated in India. The country has approximately 120 ATMs per million people.

ATM Market Comparison

  • US has about 1,500 ATMs per million people
  • China has about 350 ATMs per million
  • India has only 120 ATMs per million people

Also, the cost of operating and maintaining a conventional ATM is higher and includes factors such as 24*7 power availability and security. These factors make ATM an unviable option to scale up cash out facility in semi urban/ rural areas.

New Age Banking Solution – Spice Digital launches Aadhaar enabled Mini-ATMs

With continuous efforts to bridge the divide between the served and the underserved, Spice Digital has launched Aadhaar enabled Mini-ATMs and will be shortly offering the services to customers at Spice Money retail counters. We have been authorized by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to offer Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) services.

This service shall bring rural masses and low income groups at par with their urban counterparts. Technology and Aadhaar would play an imperative role in bridging the digital divide in India by extending banking services to all including low income groups.

A user can visit any Spice Money retail outlet near to their home or work to withdraw cash by providing the following details –

  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
  4. Amount to be withdrawn

With mini-ATMs withdrawing cash is now easy, secure and convenient. Read our blog – AEPS – Leading a Way to New Age Banking to know more about Aadhaar enabled payments.

Interested to join our team! Visit our page – b2b.spicesafar.com

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).

Role of Technology in the Development of Smart Cities in India!

The World Bank projects that by 2050, India’s urban population will nearly double to 857 million—more than twice the population of the United States. Over the next 15 years alone, the country will have to build between 7.5 billion and 9.7 billion square feet of residential and commercial space each year to keep pace. This exponential growth demands for smart infrastructure for sewage, water and electricity and brings in the concept of Smart Cities. Smart Cities will accommodate rapid urbanization, focus on the primary needs and tap new opportunities to improve the quality of life for residents today and the future.

Here are some interesting facts depicting why India needs Smart Cities –


Above figures emphasize the need to devise and develop solutions for delivering basic utilities to all and for a smarter living.

Smart Cities Mission: A step towards Smarter India
The Smart Cities mission is an innovative and a new initiative by the Government of India to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local development and harnessing technology as means to create smart solutions for citizens.

India is now being talked about at global level for the development of Smart Cities under PM Narendra Modi’s vision “Digital India”. This ambitious plan plans to build 100 smart cities across India in the period of five years and foresee India as a digital leader of services in various sectors including healthcare, education and financial.

What is a Smart City?
Smart city would be a city which would have the below core infrastructure for a clean and sustainable environment. As per Government of India – Smart Cities would focus on their most pressing needs and on the greatest opportunities to improve lives. They tap a range of approaches – digital and information technologies, urban planning best practices, public-private partnerships, and policy change – to make a difference. They always put people first.


Role of technology and software solutions in creating Smart Cities
Urbanization is an inevitable progression. Businesses and governments are starting to recognize the role of technology in meeting the goals of urban infrastructure provisioning both today and in the long term.
The smart city transformation would be fuelled by advance technology and the deployment of intelligence & information management systems. Dream of Smart cities can be achieved at accelerated pace with higher reliance on ICT (information and communications technology)
Digital disruptions including social media, mobility, Machine-to-Machine (M2M), Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and Cloud Computing will become the backbone of next generation smart cities.

Spice Digital solutions for Smart Cities
Smart solutions are vital for India’s future and Spice Digital is committed to bring about this transformation towards smarter living, through our innovative offerings and partnerships.
Our experienced team along with our partners are offering numerous solutions –

  • Customized Solutions based on OEM Products
  • Office Automation
  • Project Management System
  • Sales Force Automation
  • CRM
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Community Payments
  • Mobile Apps / Web Development
  • Smart Metering Solutions
  • Smart Home products

For a complete detail and list on our Smart City Solutions, please visit our page “Solutions for Smart City”

Unified Payment Interface (UPI) – a Game Changer of Payment System

Unified Payment Interface

Mobile banking is becoming increasingly sophisticated and with the launch of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) more innovation, simplicity, security and speed has been added to the entire payment arena. Industry experts are considering UPI as the gamer changer of the present payment system in India as it will transform the way we make payments to various retail stores, restaurants, for cabs, do utility payments etc. Developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the UPI aims to move towards a cashless model of economy. Regarded as the most important initiative, Unified Payment Interface will play a vital role in implementing government’s JAM (Jhan Dhan Yojana, Aadhar and Mobile) vision.

RBI’s vision for Payment Systems in India

Payment Systems in India: Vision “To proactively encourage electronic payment systems for ushering in a less-cash society in India and to ensure payment and settlement systems in the country are safe, efficient, interoperable, authorised, accessible, inclusive and compliant with international standards.

In line with this, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has also visualized and launched an Indian domestic card payment scheme “RuPay”. It was created to have a domestic, open loop, and multilateral system of payments in India. RuPay facilitates electronic payment at all Indian banks and financial institutions. RuPay will make the transaction cost affordable and will drive usage of cards in the industry.

Objectives of UPI

Objectives of Unified Payment Interface system is to offer an architecture and a set of standard APIs to facilitate the next generation online immediate payments, leveraging trends such as increasing smartphone adoption, Indian language interfaces, and universal access to Internet and data.

Traditional Fund Transfer Methods

Most of the electronic payments in India are facilitated through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).

In NEFT, the bank details of the sender and the beneficiary are linked using IFSC code and bank branch name. When a payment is commenced, the payer’s bank sends a ‘message’ to its NEFT service centre. All such messages are pooled every hour and the bank’s NEFT centre sends it to the RBI, which starts the transfer. The process takes places only during working hours and takes few hours.

On the hand fund transfer through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) is handled on one-to-one basis. It is generally used for making large value transactions, typically more than Rs. 2 lakhs. RTGS transactions are also done during working hours.

Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) is now gaining importance as it round-the-clock immediate payment service. To initiate the payment, sender needs a 7-digit Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) Code and registered mobile number of the beneficiary.

How does UPI work?
Imagine buying clothes from a mall by paying cash. How you make the purchase? You give cash at cash counter, the biller gives you a receipt and purchased good. UPI is even simpler than this. Instead of giving cash, you tell your virtual identity to the cashier. The cashier will then generate an invoice using UPI, you will approve the invoice on your mobile and the payment is made.

So to make payment through UPI, you need a bank account and a smartphone. Once a user is registered for UPI with his/her bank , a virtual address is created which is then mapped with user’s mobile number.

This entire new arrangement is:
Highly secure – as there is no need to disclose identity while making payments

A single click-two factor authentication system – each transaction being authenticated at two levels with one click

Available all the time – UPI runs on Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) platform, hence the service will be available in real-time and 24×7

An inter-operable system – You will be able to use the products of any bank, even if you are not a customer, which has entered into an agreement to use the UPI platform

Cost effective – Transactions through UPI will reduce fees which go to many mediators while making payments through debit/credit cards.

Spice Digital’s participation in UPI Initiative

Spice Digital’s team named “Enablers” had participated in Unified Payment Interface (UPI) Hackathon, 2016 launched by the National Payments Corporation of India, presented their rock solid solutions and emerged out as one of the top five finalists.

Mobile Marketing Stats that matter to invest in mobile marketing

Smartphone penetration is growing rapidly and by 2017 almost a third of all Indian mobile users are expected to own a smartphone. Worldwide figures state that almost 50 percent of mobile users are going to own a smartphone by 2017. ( Statista.com )

Mobile has left behind desktop and has drastically changed the way we carry out search on web. Mobile apps have now become a preferred choice of users for content consumption as compared to web browsing. This has led to a transformation, especially the way we socialize and shop.

Brands have already recognized that we are approaching a point when mobile usage exceeds that of all other devices combined. Sensing all the hidden opportunities, marketers are making a paradigm shift in their digital marketing methods.
Will this year be the tipping point in mobile marketing? Let’s try to find with facts and figures:
1. According to eMarketer, total mobile ad spend will cross $100 billion worldwide by 2016
2. Acording to Facebook research in Oct 2015, 73% of people always have their mobile device with them even in the bathroom.
3. In a report by Forrester, it has been mentioned that people pick up their mobile devices 150 to 200 times a day.
4. 80% of Internet users use smartphones to search the Web.
5. According to a recent global digital snapshot published by We Are Social there are nearly as many active mobile social accounts in the world (1.68 billion) as there are smartphones.
6. Mobile video accounted for 55% of mobile data usage by the end of 2014 by Cisco ‘15 Mobile Forecast


Without further ado, it is obvious that mobile marketing is going to be the next big thing and marketers are trying hard to unwind new opportunities.

Spice Digital’s total end-to-end mobile advertising solutions unleash the power of mobile marketing. We simplify mobile advertising with efficient campaign planning, execution & optimization. Using our competent solutions you can increase the effectiveness of your brand marketing strategies by integrating it with your other marketing initiatives to drive measurable results.

We offer:
• A total-end-to-end Solution
• Result Driven Models -CPA,CPI,CPL,CPS, CPC, CPM, CPV
• Efficient campaign planning, execution & optimization
• Global Reach

Bharat Bill Payments System – A Digital Bill Payment Initiative by NPCI

The National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) with its plan to digitize bill payments across the country will join the Digital India initiative. The NPCI is developing an integrated Bharat Bill Payments System to provide an ease of ‘anytime anywhere’ payment of all kinds of bills to customers. This will cover water, DTH and telecom with a plan of expanding and covering school fee, university fee, municipality taxes, mutual funds, insurance premiums etc after approval from the RBI.

Customers can easily pay bill from retail points using various payment modes such as credit card, debit card, mobile wallet, net banking (IMPS, NEFT) after getting registered with Bharat Bill Payments System. Process of registration can either be done online or by walking into any BBPS outlet. The customer would share detail such as his name, address, email id, mobile number and an identification document. After registration, a Customer ID would be given to the customer that will be used in all future transactions. This would definitely change the bill payments being done today.

The biggest beneficiaries of this entire change are going to be the domestic remittance companies and business correspondents of the banks having huge retail presence across the country.