March 21, 2015

Mobile Payment: M-Pay

M-PAY

M-Pay is a turnkey mobile money platform that can be used as a mobile wallet solution or as a mobile payment front-end connected to an existing account management system. M-Pay is uniquely designed to meet the needs and work around the constraints faced by unbanked end-users.

M-Pay uses a unique contactless transaction technology. This contactless transaction technology brings the same level of security and user experience as NFC/RFID but without requiring a special chip or application on the phone. M-Pay uses the mobile phone’s audio channel to transmit secure transaction data (OTP, electronic signatures, certificates…) and is protected by a portfolio of 9 international patents. M-pay makes secure contactless transactions possible for every existing phone in the world. 

The technology used is built into the M-Pay platform is widely recognized as the leading solution for enabling mobile payments in a store or on the web. This technology also improves the security and reliability of transactions between customers and agents (cash-in and cash-out). Rather than using SMS or USSD, this technology uses the audio channel to exchange transactional data in real time to securely sign a transaction between a customer’s phone and a merchant or agent’s acceptance device (another phone, POS terminal, computer…).

 M-Pay platform offers the following unique features:

  • M-Pay includes the most advanced and robust mobile contactless technology. M-Pay use a Sound Based technology that uses the microphone of your customer’s phone as an antenna to capture transaction data. The technology is universal, extremely secure and offers very critical business advantages.
  • Open architecture: M-Pay includes a complete set of APIs allowing you to connect your platform to any other service. For example: specific fee calculation, external database for special authorisations, service or utility providers for bill payment, external transactions or electronic signature technology,…
  • Advanced administration and service management: M-Pay gives you the ultimate service offering flexibility. This allows you to decide which services, transaction limits, and other rules govern the mobile money system.
  • Full payment and transactional capabilities: M-Pay allows you to offer retail payments at the point of sale, cash-in/cash-out at agent’s location, P2P money transfer, remittances, pay roll management, ATM services, e-commerce transactions…
  • A unique choice of bearer and transaction acquisition channels: M-Pay offers the widest range of acceptance channels on a mobile money platform. M-Pay supports IVR, Web, SMS, Twitter, Android, IOS, Window Apps… M-Pay includes hundreds of market-tested user experiences that fit the needs of each customer group.

How it works

There are two ways that M-Pay can connect to a back-office.

Full Integration

In this approach the M-Pay platform connects to the back-office via APIs allowing M-Pay to “push” or “pull” funds from accounts in real time when a transaction takes place. This level of integration requires that the back-office APIs allow an M-Pay system to dialogue with the back-office for preauthorization and trigger a fund transfer after the system authentication has signed the transaction securely.

One-way integration

M-Pay APIs are designed for easy integration. The one-way integration allows a back-office to push funds into a mobile wallet held on the M-Pay platform via these APIs. Customers can actively seek to load their wallet by transferring funds from their bank account or can set up business rules so that funds are pushed when the wallet reaches a defined minimum threshold.

Case studies

A. Wallet (Mobile Money)

Transform any phone into an electronic wallet

M-Pay platform allows anyone with a cell phone to conveniently and securely store, send, and spend funds using mobile wallet. Funds are loaded on the wallet via various sources including money transfers, salaries and pensions, bank and card accounts, direct cash deposits, etc. Money in an M-Pay wallet can be used to pay bills, make purchases in stores and on the web, or transfer funds to others. All existing cell phones can be used without prior enrollment or special apps.

Benefits

  • Any phone in the world can be an electronic wallet
  • Extremely Secure—the phone must be present to send and spend funds
  • Very viral—receiving funds automatically creates a wallet
  • Low cost and rapid time-to-market
  • User-friendly—several channels for loading, sending, and spending funds conveniently
  • No cash, no cards, no hassle

B.  Agents services

Offer cash-in, cash-out, registration, and branchless banking services to anyone, with any phone

The M-Pay platform includes Agent-enabled mobile financial services. Agents can be segmented into groups or hierarchies and attributed roles and transaction limits based on the group they belong to. Agent-enabled branchless banking services typically include: Customer registration, cash-in (accepting customer cash deposits to load accounts), cash-out (customer withdraws cash from his or her account), bill payment, airtime top-up, account management, and cash remittances. Anyone with a cell phone can conveniently and securely access Agent services.

Benefits

  • Agents can be segmented by services offered, business model, region, etc.
  • Agents are able to offer services to customers and non-customers
  • Extremely Secure—the phone must be present to send and spend funds
  • User-friendly—several channels for loading, sending, and spending funds conveniently
  • No cash, no cards, no hassle

C. Retail

Contactless mobile payment for the point of sale.

Anyone can securely and conveniently use their cell phone to make purchases in a store. This revolutionizes electronic payments by offering retail payments to the billions of un-banked mobile phone owners with a “SIM card-present” security level for all mobile transactions.

Any cell phone can be used no matter which telecom operator they belong to or the type of phone they have.

Benefits

  • Retail payments can be made using any mobile phone in the world
  • Extremely Secure—the phone must be physically present to sign the transaction
  • Simple to use—just answer a phone call and bring it towards the chirp
  • Designed for retail environments where quick and simple payment is a must
  • Low cost and rapid time-to-market
  • No cash, no cards, no SMS, no hassle

 D. Bill payment

Pay bills using your mobile phone: Wherever, whenever.

M-Pay allows anyone with a cell phone to pay their utility bills conveniently and in complete security. Each utility company is registered on the platform and is categorized according to type (e.g. water, electricity, etc.). The M-Pay platform can be connected to the billing back offices to verify billing reference numbers and authorize the transactions. Customers can pay their bills directly from their wallet or by paying in cash at an Agent location.

Benefits

  • Bills can be paid using any mobile phone in the world
  • Extremely Secure—the phone must be present to pay a bill which reduces theft, fraud, and mismanagement
  • User friendly and multi-channel accessibility
  • Customer relationship management by profiling behavior and usage

E.   E-Commerce

Simple and secure mobile payments on the web

With a few clicks anyone with a cell phone can make purchases online conveniently and in complete security. This revolutionizes online shopping by attaining “SIM card-present” security level and opening e-commerce to the billions of un-banked mobile phone owners.

The M-Pay e-commerce system is a secure online payments solution protected by M-Pay technology, which allows merchant websites to accept mobile payments. This solution can be easily integrated into online commerce systems and websites. All existing cell phones can be used without prior enrollment or special apps.

Benefits

  • E-commerce payments can be made using any mobile phone in the world
  • Fast and painless online payments
  • Extremely Secure—the phone must be present to sign the online transaction
  • Simple to use—just answer a phone call and bring it towards the chirp
  • Opens e-commerce to the unbanked

F.  Payroll

Secure and efficient cashless salary distribution

M-Pay allows mobile money services to offer businesses a secure and efficient means of disbursing salaries to their workforce. Any employee with a cell phone can receive their salary on a wallet account managed by the M-Pay back-end. They can withdraw cash from ATMs and Agents or use their phone to buy goods and services without having to take cash out first. Any business can use this service and all existing cell phones can be used without prior enrollment or special apps.

Benefits

  • Send salaries to any phone in the world
  • Extremely Secure—the employee’s phone is required to receive salaries and use the funds
  • Eliminates cash-carrying risks and logistics
  • Convenient employer interface for managing salary disbursement
  • No cash, no checks, no plastic, no hassle

 

 G. Gift Voucher

Convenient gifts received directly on your mobile phone

M-Pay allows you to offer a universal and secure way to give and spend gift vouchers on the web or in a store. Anyone with a cell phone can receive a gift voucher and spend it using their phone to secure the transaction. Any e-commerce website can offer this service and all existing cell phones can be used without prior enrollment or special apps.

Benefits

  • Gifts can be sent to any mobile phone in the world
  • Extremely Secure—the phone must be present to redeem the voucher
  • Cost effective
  • Drives online customer traffic towards stores and brings customer relationship management to the point of sale
  • No paper, no plastic, no SMS, no hassle

H. Loyalty

Effective tools to manage and build customer loyalty

M-Pay can be used to boost customer loyalty effectively via the mobile. M-Pay enables two types of loyalty solutions: Prepaid account services and customer rewards services. Any customer with a phone can benefit from either type of loyalty program and use their mobile to redeem special offers or pay with their prepaid account. All cell phones can be used without prior enrollment or special apps.

Benefits

  • Loyalty programs can be offered to any mobile phone in the world
  • Highly secure and traceable—the phone must be present to pay or redeem rewards
  • Offers insight into client preferences
  • Highly effective—sophisticated loyalty that targets customers based on consumption and preference profiles
  • No paper, no plastic, no SMS, no hassle

I.   Microfinance

Leveraging the mobile to make microfinance more secure and efficient

M-Pay can be interfaced with a microfinance back-office to bring the convenience and security of mobile transactions to microfinance. User-friendly voice-based services replace paperwork to make microfinance services more accessible and efficient. M-Pay offers both remote and proximity microfinance transactions. All existing cell phones can be used without prior enrollment or special apps.

Benefits

  • Loans can be disbursed and repaid using any mobile phone in the world.
  • Extremely Secure—the phone must be present to receive, use, and repay loans. Cash transport risks are eliminated.
  • Full traceability and transparency—all transactions are tracked online to help manage beneficiaries and field agents.
  • Beneficiary relationship management—real-time loan status information and ability to communicate reminders to beneficiaries.
  • Improved efficiency—time saved on paperwork and logistics.
  • User-friendly—voice-guided services for receiving and repaying loans conveniently.

J.   ATM Services

Withdraw cash from ATMs simply and securely via mobile phone

Anyone with a cell phone can securely and conveniently use their phone to withdraw cash from an ATM. This revolutionizes mobile money by attaining “SIM card-present” security level and opening ATM services to the billions of un-banked mobile phone owners. All existing cell phones can be used without installing any application or modifying the SIM card and all ATMs are NSDT-ready without any hardware modification. By integrating NSDTTM into the ATM’s software mobile money schemes can interface their M-Pay platforms to offer services via ATM.

Benefits

  • ATM services can be accessed using any mobile phone in the world
  • Extremely Secure—the phone must be physically present to with draw cash from the ATM
  • Simple to use—just answer a phone call and bring your phone towards the chirp
  • Low cost and rapid time-to-market: no hardware deployment
  • Opens ATM services to unbanked populations

K.  Airtime Top-up

Buy minutes anytime, anywhere using M-Pay

M-Pay allows anyone with a cell phone to purchase airtime conveniently and in complete security. Each telecom operator is registered on the platform and platform’s APIs connect to the telecom operator’s airtime management back-office. Customers can purchase airtime directly from their wallet or by paying in cash at an Agent location.

Benefits

  • Airtime can be loaded to any mobile phone in the world
  • Extremely Secure—the phone must be present to purchase and recharge minutes
  • Low cost and rapid time-to-market
  • 3 user-friendly channels for loading airtime

 II.       Conclusion

In most of SSA, only a small percentage of upper-income households enjoy the convenience of card-based, online and mobile banking and payments, while most consumers still pay with cash. One study shows that more than 90 percent of retail transactions in parts of Kenya are still cash-based, and Gallup’s survey of 11 SSA countries found that more than 80 percent of adults there have made bill payments or remittances with cash. Given the lack of digital payments penetration, SSA consumers, banks and governments are still bearing the high cost of cash payments—costs associated with manual acceptance, record-keeping, counting, storage, security and transportation. Lack of mobile technology is not the major obstacle to increasing mobile money penetration in the region: Two-thirds of SSA adults currently use mobile phones.

Launching mobile payments in new markets is seldom easy. In developing economies, one of the greatest challenges is providing convenient options for cash deposits and withdrawals.

ATMs, point-of-service devices and agent networks must be conveniently located throughout the community. The upfront investments this requires can be substantial, but are necessary in order to provide a solid foundation for future growth.

Clearly, there is significant latent demand for digital payments in many SSA markets and widespread consumer acceptance of mobile communications technology is highly encouraging. For players who are able and willing to move in the near future there are also opportunities to win important first mover advantages.