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After Paytm, ToneTag launches payments via toll-free number


Payments solution provider ToneTag has introduced mobile payments services hosted via toll free number 1800 3010 1887. This allows non-internet users and feature phone users to send and receive money by means of an IVR-based service. Users will first have to register their debit card or bank account number on the call. Registration is only a one-step process. This means that ToneTag’s IVR service will associate you’re bank a/c or debit card number with your phone number once registered.

(Shashi adds: We’re not entirely sure if this is allowed. But we will check and get back to you. The company has a partnership with YES Bank for sound-based proximity payments on their mobile wallet YES PAY.)

Users can make payments only to other ToneTag registered users by entering the receiver’s phone number. The transaction will be same as an online card transaction, where the customer will need to enter his/her card details and OTP received on his registered mobile number, a spokesperson from the company told MediaNama.

Yesterday Paytm announced a similar toll-free banking service wherein user could dial 1800 1800 1234 make payments to any Paytm customer. Users are required to first generate a four digit PIN on the call. After a user enters recipient’s mobile number, amount to be paid, and PIN, cash is transferred from their Paytm wallet to the receiver’s Paytm wallet. Users will however need to load money either through Paytm website, mobile app or at their 2,00,000 cash-in points across the country.

Currently ToneTag offers contactless payments solution that emits encrypted sound waves to authenticate and process payments. It utilizes in-built mic and speaker of any mobile device to enable buyer-merchant authentication via sound waves and hence supports most existing devices such as PCs, Point of Sale (PoS) machines, smart phones and even wearables.

The company claims that it will plans to add 25,000 merchants on its platform by end December and aims to hit more than 3 lakh acceptance points next year. Currently it clams a user base of 18 million. Last month, ToneTag raised an undisclosed amount in funding from a cluster of investors . In August 2015, the company raised $1 million from Reliance Capital .

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USSD based mobile banking

Note that non-Internet and non-smartphone users can also make payments for services such as electricity, water, gas, telephone and Direct-to-Home (DTH), etc. via USSD number *99#. Last month in the wake if the demonetization move, TRAI lowered the ceiling tariff for outgoing USSD based mobile banking and payment services to Rs 0.50 per session from the existing fee of Rs 1.50 per USSD session. Outgoing USSD requests are those USSD transactions which have been initiated by the user. Several telcos have however waived off this fee voluntarily for a limited period.

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