ToneTag completes RBI’s first cohort for voice-based retail payments

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Chennai: Sound wave tech solution provider ToneTag on Tuesday announced that it has completed the first cohort under the RBI sandbox for retail payments.

ToneTag said it has successfully executed offline voice-based payments via feature phones and smartphones in areas with inconsistent internet connectivity, with people who are digitally not savvy or find it difficult to use apps for banking or payments, thereby making digital payments a reality for all.

“This cohort for retail payments by RBI is a milestone in solving key

challenges through enabling offline payments on any phone – smart or feature, onboarding digitally challenged people onto digital payment platforms, and offering completely contactless transactions in areas of low or no internet connectivity. The success of our technology in the cohort will not only bring rural India into the digital payment ecosystem but will also bridge the gap between conventional and futuristic payment options for millions of customers who currently don’t have access to digital payment services,” Kumar Abhishek, founder and chief executive, ToneTag said.

With the successful completion of the cohort, the company will enable digital payments for more than 600 million feature phone users and also offer a secure and seamless payment experience for smartphone users who have limited tech acumen or find existing payment options complex or confusing.

“The success of this cohort was not based on technology alone but also took into account the convenience, security and user experience aspects. The outcome of the cohort relied heavily on the reception and reaction from the end-user, who were mostly residents of rural areas. The users found this payment experience new, simple, and secure,” the company said in a statement.

ToneTag has also launched retail pods, a device that allows retailers or other vendors to accept payments through any feature or smartphone and receive voice-based acknowledgement or payment confirmation. It said that in prioritising safety, it has used ethereum-based blockchain technology to successfully monitor all payments.

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