Fintech should be about technology bridging financial service gaps. An exciting new offering in India is a perfect example. To meet the needs of customers who may not have mobile internet on their phones, are unable to find a signal in a rural area, or are otherwise unable to access the internet, new apps allow you to pay merchants via sound waves.
Ultracash, soon to be followed by Paytm, has optimized their system for easy mobile-to-mobile payments when internet connections or NFC may not be available. No additional equipment is required, and a simple app download (when the internet is available) gets the customer up and running. Here’s how it works:
- The customer selects their purchase, and the merchant prepares the bill as normal.
- The merchant enters the information into their mobile, where the digital information is encoded into analog high-frequency sound waves.
- The two devices are held close to one another to allow a clear audio signal.
- The customer activates the app on their mobile device, which receives the sound waves and, with the press of a button, transmits the customer’s payment information. It can be used stand-alone or integrated with several popular mobile wallets.
- The transaction is complete!
Will this technology spread to other countries?
There is growth potential. For instance, in the United States, many pre-paid mobile providers, an ever-increasing market segment, offer handsets that are not NFC capable. As mobile payments become increasingly popular, these customers are left out, and this new application of technology may be the answer to bridging that gap.
Fintech is adapting to find needed solutions in the financial services industry, connecting people with their money, wherever they are, however they need it. Pay-by-sound is a solid addition to existing mobile payment options.