Germany's Identive Group Inc. and Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors N.V. today announced that they are providing NFC payment tags to India-based Yeldi Softcom Pvt. Ltd. to support its new ara eTap cashless payment app, launching soon in India. The NFC payment tags can be placed on the back of a mobile phone to enable cashless tap-and-pay transactions.
"The NFC payment tags from Identive and NXP make it possible for us to equip Indian consumers with the means of making cashless payments and other transactions without the need for a more expensive smart phone with in-built NFC," said Lakshmi Deepa, CEO of Yeldi Softcom. "The tags can be used with both new and existing mobile phones, making the ara eTap application available to the majority of the population. Transactions are secure and the ability to reload cash to the tag adds to the convenience."
Through the targeted deployment of 300,000 mobile phones and millions of NFC tags, Yeldi Softcom aims to speed the transition from cash transactions to mobile payments for Indian consumers. Ara eTap customers can use the NFC payment tag to load cash onto their phones from their personal bank accounts or from a special escrow account set up with Yeldi Softcom.
In addition to paying for purchases, tag holders can use the application to pay utility bills and recharge mobile phones, or to buy movie and travel tickets, earning reward points with each use. Yeldi Softcom expects to launch ara eTap in the coming months and is currently signing up merchants across India to distribute the NFC payment tags and support the cashless payment application.
To meet Yeldi Softcom's requirements for the ara eTap program, Identive developed an NFC payment tag based on its patent-pending tom (tag on metal) smart inlay technology, which shields the tag's RF signal from the metal in the mobile phone, thus allowing a reliable, high-performance connection between tag and phone.
For the chip within the tag, Identive worked closely with its tag IC provider, NXP Semiconductors, which co-invented NFC. "Yeldi's new ara eTap is a major step forward for micro cashless payment in India and beyond," said Martin Gruber, general manager of the MIFARE product line at NXP Semiconductors. "[Our] MIFARE DESFire ICs for Identive's Yeldi project are NFC tag type 4 compliant and already successfully used in the New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai transport ticketing schemes."
For more stories like this, visit the contactless/NFC research center.