In what it claims is an Indian first, Icici Bank has launched an HCE-based contactless mobile payments service, enabling nearly 30 million customers to make in-store purchases with a tap of their smartphones.
Icici began rolling out contactless debit and credit cards nearly a year ago, but is now giving customers the option to leave their wallets at home by adding NFC payments to its Pockets app.
Customers click on the Touch & Pay icon on the home screen of the app and select the desired card. Once the merchant enters the amount to be charged the customer taps their phone, receiving a text to confirm the transaction.
By using HCE (Host Card Emulation) technology for its in-house built platform, the bank lets customers store virtual versions of their physical Visa and MasterCard cards in its cloud server, meaning detail are not on the handsets. For each payment, a one-time unique token number is created by the bank’s server, which is encrypted and sent to the merchant’s terminal, without disclosing any card information.
Rajiv Sabharwal, executive director, Icici Bank, says: "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. The key advantages of the solution are speed, simplicity and security."