Proximity payments company ToneTag is making inroads and has tied-up with Shoppers Stop to integrate its sound-based payments. ToneTag’s payments will be made available across 84 stores across India.
ToneTag’s technology allows users to make payments through ultrasonic sound waves from mobile phones. Payment instructions can be transmitted using the sound signal through a traditional phone line, without any additional hardware or software requirements or dependencies.
Last month, ToneTag also partnered with FreeCharge and as part of the partnership, it would allow customers to make sound payments at nearly 62 outlets of Trust Pharmacy, mall parking, NICE toll plaza, and office parking spaces. Merchants could accept sound payments through any device including Laptop’s, PC’s, Tablets, EDC’s, mPOS, smartphones, and feature phones by integrating their software development kit.
ToneTag also has a partnership with YES Bank for sound-based proximity payments on their mobile wallet YES PAY. There’s iKaaz which is working on similar products in the contactless payments space. YES Bank also had a partnership with UltraCash for sound-based payments.
In November 2016, the payments company raised an undisclosed amount in a round of funding from strategic investors which includes Arun Seth (former chairman of Alcatel-Lucent and BT India), TV Mohandas Pai (chairman of Manipal Global Education), Anand Chandrasekaran (now heads development at Facebook for Messenger), TK Kurien (vice chairman of Wipro.
At the time, founder Kumar Abhishek said the company has applied for a patent for a new contactless payment technology which uses light from a device as a communication protocol. “The patent describes a communication protocol which uses a light emitting source which will allow devices to communicate with each other,” he added. Abhishek added that it could find use cases in restaurants where a user could place a device in between light and could order. Not exactly sure how this would work, but we want to see it in action. Proof is in the pudding, right?