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8 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Pay quickly, pay easily

Mobile wallet
FAISAL MAHMUD
Pay quickly, pay easily

When you watch the FIFA World Cup on the telly, it becomes difficult to miss the glitzy advertisements broadcast during the half time of each match by a number of local commercial banks that have come up with their own digital payment platforms.

These advertisements show how a wallet full of cash, or even cards, belongs to the bygone days. The future lies not with paper or plastic money, but with digital money.

The new digital payments platforms installed in smartphones would be the game-changer in the payments industry, say experts, as these combine and dovetail the advantages of the smartphone with the agility of cashless payments.

Money, and the idea of its exchange through payments, have evolved a lot from the time of its inception, said AE Abdul Muhaimen, chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) of United Commercial Bank (UCB), the bank which recently launched its payments platform Upay.

“Payments are now evolving at a rapid pace with new providers, new platforms, and new payment tools being launched on a regular basis. Our newest mobile payment platform Upay was launched to give our customers the true experience of digital payments,” explained Muhaimen.

“If a person downloads and installs the Upay app in his/her smartphone, it will work like a wallet. It has direct access to the bank account with UCB and would work like a debit card or a credit card. It will give you better security and agility,” said Muhaimen.

 

One-stop solution

While UCB has come up with Upay, Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL), which has a reputation of bringing the newest technology to the market faster than any other bank, has come up with NexusPay, which it is branding as a one-stop solution for all payments.

“If you consider NexusPay to be in the middle, then you have to understand who is at its back-end and front-end,” said AKM Shirin, the MD of DBBL.

Shirin said, “At the back-end, it first has the support of the core banking software of the DBBL. Then it has the support of DBBL’s mobile banking, agent banking and credit card. These four are at the back-end to give NexusPay access to the entire repository of money.”

“So when a person installs the NexusPay app in his/her phone, s/he immediately get access to his/her bank account in DBBL, debit and credit card of DBBL, the Rocket account, agent banking account and credit cards of other banks.”

“At the front-end with NexusPay,” said Shirin, “money can be transferred in between—from bank account to Rocket, from agent banking account to DBBL debit card, and so on.”

 “You can make payments at the merchant’s counter with the app. You can also make payments for any e-commerce transaction. It can be used for buying airtime for all the mobile operators of the country. There are also options to pay utility bills through NexusPay.”

DBBL’s MD told The Independent that the main target of NexusPay is merchant payments. “Our main target is to make the society cashless and cardless. Just think, when we make payments in e-commerce, we don’t actually use any card, we use some numbers. So, it’s not hard to replace the card.”

 

Payments process

All these apps—NexusPay or Upay—have the option of scanning QR codes. At the counter of any merchant, whether a large super shop or the small grocery store at the corner, there will be an option to generate a QR code.

Moazzem Hossain Khan, the head of IT development of DBBL, explained: “The QR code can be of two kinds—static and dynamic. The static QR code is obviously cheaper and can be printed in a paper and placed on the counter. One just needs to open the app, scan the QR code, enter the amount and the payment will then be made.”

In the case of static QR code, the merchant has to confirm the transaction after receiving a confirmation SMS in the mobile phone.

“But in the dynamic QR code system, the POS machine will generate a QR code every single time a payment is made and the POS machine will confirm the transaction. These POS machines—which can generate QR codes—are more expensive and suitable for large stores.”

In NexusPay, aside from QR code, there is also the scope for making NFC payments. NFC stands for near-field communication, which many of today’s smartphone have in-built in their systems. In NFC payments, one just needs to touch the smartphone to the POS, and the payment is made.

 

Challenges ahead

Talking with The Independent, Minaoar Hossain Tanzil, MD of Kona Software Lab Limited, who has developed Konapay—one of the most popular mobile payments platforms in South Korea—said digital payments platforms are the future. These will change the way we use money now, he observed. Kona has also developed NexusPay for DBBL.

“Mobile-based payments systems, in a way, combine the benefits of mobile phones and bank cards. It basically carries the credit card in the phone. So it means that if you have a smartphone, you have your wallet in it as well.”

Tanzil, however, said: “We have to understand that the app which carries out financial transactions is not like any other app. The most important aspect of an app that does a financial transaction is its security. To develop such an app, first of all, you need to conduct your R&D properly. You need to measure the whole scenario from a vantage point so that you can fool-proof your system. If you leave any loophole, then the system could be compromised through that.”

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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