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One of the India’s biggest bank has been uncomfortable with the mushroom growth of digital wallets in the country. To counter the growing transaction of digital wallets through SBI held accounts SBI launched this
What is this Contactless Payments Technology?
SBI has launched contactless payments technology which will enable SBI Cards customers to pay by simply tapping their smartphone screens on POS machines. The technology is based on Host Card Emulation (HCE) and the app facilitates the process for virtualisation of the card which could further be read by the POS machines.
It’s one of the innovations where cards are embedded with Bharat QR code and then at the time of payment app acts as a facilitator to interact with the POS machines and eventually the user is able to pay with a tap over his smartphone screen.
How does it work?
As per the Sequent.com “Host Card Emulation (HCE) is the term describing on-device technology that permits a phone to perform card emulation on an Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled device without relying on access to a secure element. This new technology gained celebrity status this year when Google announced support for HCE in the KitKat OS. Suddenly with Host Card Emulation and cloud issuance millions of phones could be enabled for payment with a simple app update; a real game changer. This innovation opened an alternative path to contactless payments and other services that had no reliance on secure elements, but how does it actually work?
The combination of always online devices and cloud computing suggested that placing cards in the cloud was a viable option for a more open and scalable solution for mobile commerce and issuers. Placing cards in the cloud was the easy part – two other key concepts have to come together to make an end-to-end solution. First the phone Operating System (OS) must allow communication from a contactless reader at a merchant Point of sale (POS) to go somewhere other than the secure element. Second, a Host Card Emulation client app is required to provide security, manage transactions, and utilize metadata about the user, phone, and merchant POS to perform dynamic risk management.”
SBI Cards have more than 5 Mn Users userbase to start with
With its reach from metros to villages, SBI card has a reach of more than 5 Mn users across the city which makes it a great carrier for such transactions to happen even in remotest of the areas as POS machines count have significantly increased post Demonetisation but still there is much scope as currently India has 750 Mn Debit/Credit cards and against that there are only 1.4 Mn POS Terminals.
Speaking on the development CEO of SBI Cards Vijay Jasuja said, “Before demonetisation, the card volume growth rate was around 60,000 cards per month which increased to over 100K cards per month post-demonetisation period and has now grown to around 200K cards per month.”