Private sector lender ICICI Bank on March 15, 2016 unveiled a mobile payment solution to enable its credit and debit card customers make payments by just waving their smartphones at a near field communication (NFC)-enabled merchant terminal.
This mobile payment solution available in the bank’s ‘Pockets’ app, provides improved convenience of ‘Touch & Pay’ as customers are no longer required to carry physical card or paper currency to pay in stores.
HCE (Host Card Emulation) technology creates virtual cards for physical credit or debit cards (Visa/MasterCard) of the Bank.
While the virtual card bears a different card number, the credit limit and expiry date remains same as the original physical card.
Using the virtual cards in the “Pocket” app, an ICICI Bank customer can initiate electronic payments from Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled smartphones by just waving his/her phone near a contactless merchant terminal.
The customer’s card details are stored virtually in the bank’s secure cloud server and not on the customer’s mobile phone. Additionally, the display of the card on the Smartphone shows only last four digits of the virtual card. Thus, even if a customer loses the mobile phone, he will not lose any confidential information.
ICICI Bank is the first financial institution in the country to introduce HCE technology to bring forth this solution,” the bank says. “ICICI Bank has developed this platform in-house.
To use this proposition, an ICICI Bank customer is simply required to click on the Touch & Pay icon on the homescreen of the Pockets app in his/her Smartphone and select the desired virtual credit/debit card.
“Once the merchant enters the amount to be charged, the customer can just wave the phone near the POS machine. A text on the phone as well as on the merchant’s terminal will confirm the transaction.”
The service has been launched for customers in the last week of March and the updated Pockets application is available on Google Play Store.
“With India becoming the second largest market globally for mobile subscribers as well as smartphones, we expect this to be a big game changer in the Indian payment industry as it will transform the Smartphone into a virtual wallet.
As of now 40,000 terminals are ready to accept NFC payments and we are in the process of increasing this number. As per RBI laws the maximum amount of transactions is Rs 2,000 as of now. We as a bank want to open all the possible channels for interaction of a customer and reduce all forms of friction in the system of payments and this is part of that effort” said Rajiv Sabharwal, executive director, ICICI Bank.