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Interview: ToneTag CEO Kumar Abhishek on bringing voice-based payments to the masses

ToneTag, the seven year-old voice-based payments company is working to bring voice-based payments to the masses. The company has been working with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to provide voice-based payments to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system, and will soon exit its pilot programme under the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) regulatory sandbox, Kumar Abhishek, founder and chief executive officer, ToneTag told MediaNama in an interview. The success of the UPI platform has transformed the lives of consumers and small businesses across the country. Yet such digital payments platforms are accessible only to tech-savvy, urban top 15% of the population of the country, Abhishek said. This is why payment companies and the regulator is pushing for offline payments solutions that work on feature phones. Voice-based payments are the future: The majority of the population still depends on cash to transact due to network issues, lack of financial and digital literacy and because they cannot afford to buy smartphones, Kumar said. Which is why contactless voice-based payments solutions are the future of payments in India, he claimed. ToneTag's partnership with the NPCI: We are looking at solutions where UPI can be accessed on feature phones and without an app, Abhishek said. "he idea is to integrate ToneTag's solutions within the NPCI system so that all existing UPI players can integrate voice-based features in their apps. Through our solution, customers can make a normal phone call, which goes directly to the NPCI, and with their voice they can make…

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Reports on banking, payments, fintech and crypto-curencies. Additional reporting on media regulations, data protection and other areas.

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