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Updated: iKaaz Launches Mobile Payment Solutions Focusing On NFC

Updated below

iKaaz, a Bangalore-based mobile payments solution provider, founded by ex-Nokia Money team, has launched two new mobile payment platforms for enterprises and consumers — iKaaz Consumer Wallet for Enterprise and iKaaz mPOS.

Its consumer wallet for enterprise provides enterprises including banks, operators, and merchants with a mobile wallet in the form of a mobile app on smartphone operating systems such as Apple’s iOS and Symbian. The mobile wallet also works on low end phones via SMS channel. To use this, customers need to register for a wallet, transfer funds to the wallet and start transacting.

It should be noted that since the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) doesn’t allow cash-out facility for mobile wallets, this again remains a semi-closed wallet where customers cannot withdraw money once deposited. Customers can send money to any phone user registered (peer to peer), unregistered, or to any other external bank accounts from their mobile phone. The service also offers mobile bill payment facility for electricity, telephone, mobile, insurance, DTH recharge, mobile recharge, etc. and can be configured to send SMS notifications for payments and reminders for due dates.

mPoS: Apart from that, iKaaz has also launched iKaaz mPOS solution that provides merchants with a point of sale solution without spending a large sum. For the same, the company has launched Tap & Pay, an NFC based solution for merchants where they can receive payments from customers with just a tap. Merchants will have to provide their customers with an NFC tag that they can stick to their mobile phones, which can be associated with their bank account, credit card or debit card. Essentially, customers will be transforming their phone into a mobile wallet. Once associated, customers can make a payment by tapping their phone on merchants iKaaz powered mobile phone at the checkout terminal.

Processing fee: iKaaz has informed MediaNama that it charges 1% processing fee for PoS transactions but we’re not sure if this charge is levied on Banks and providers or is the final transaction charge. We’ve asked iKaaz for a clarification. PayMate’s PayPOS charges 2.95% processing fee exclusive of taxes. Update: iKaaz has informed MediaNama that the processing fee will be charged from the merchant and not from the customers.

Other Players: Airtel offers a semi-closed mobile wallet service which allows Airtel customers to pay utility bills, recharge their phones, shop at merchant outlets and make online transactions using their mobile phones. It also allows users to make instant money transfers between one Airtel money wallet to another and to bank accounts across the country. Airtel claims that Airtel money is India’s first mobile based service to offer such instant money transfers.

Airtel also has a Banking Correspondent tie-up with Axis Bank and offers a low-frills account called Airtel Money Super Account powered by Axis Bank, which supports cash withdrawals in all the regions (namely Mumbai, Delhi, East UP and Bihar) where it’s been launched.

Other players in the prepaid wallet segment include My Mobile Payments, which had launched a semi-closed m-wallet in November 2011, Loop Mobile which partnered with ZipCash to offer a mobile payments service, and Nokia Money, which had shut down earlier this year, but has been acquired by mobile financial services firm FINO.

PoS players: Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited that operates voice and data services, under the MTS  brand, had launched MTS mPOS, a mobile point of sale device that can be attached to MTS mobiles for point of sales transactions.  PayMate, the mobile payments company,had launched a PayPOS mobile application, which also enabled credit and debit cards payments and electronic transactions on mobile phones at the point of sale (POS). However, unlike MTS’ mPOS service, PayMate is an application based payment application and is available on all Android/iOS devices.

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