Infosys Finacle, which provides core banking software, has partnered with sound-based payments company ToneTag. Through this partnership, Finacle and ToneTag will offer a joint solution that will use sound wave technology to enable proximity payments and interactions.

The technology will be delivered through Finacle’s mobile banking and digital wallet solutions and the product will be available for both feature and smartphones. Through the product, banks can allow consumers to authenticate themselves at bank branches, ATMs and retail outlets. Customers can also make payments on traditional Point-of-Sale machines without adding any new hardware device using the sound-based technology.

At the time of payment, the sound based technology will enable exchange of essential information for payment processing such as merchant id, device id, transaction reference number and amount, between the Point-of-Sale machines and consumers’ phone. Basis this information, consumers can approve the transaction on their phone, without sharing the card or account information with the merchant.

ToneTag says that unlike NFC technology, which requires users to have handsets and acceptance devices which are compatible, its technology does not require additional hardware. It is interesting to note that Samsung Pay in India uses MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology in addition to NFC which will work on any PoS machine. MST allows a user to send a magnetic signal from a smartphone to the payment terminal’s card reader.

Funding

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.

Light-based payments?

At the time of the funding, 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 said 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?