Mobile Payments and Privacy Protection
In the fast paced and highly competitive world of mobile payments ‘Customer Privacy’ has lost its meaning. PSPs (Payment Service Providers), in order to create newer customer-data driven revenue streams are coming up with new ways to collect more and more personal information of their customers. A trade-off for buying convenience and lower transaction costs.
In the last one year, I have shared my private information like mobile numbers, emails, account numbers, card information, and location more than I ever did before mobile payments became my primary method of transacting. I am now at a stage where providers are prompting me with choices of the cards I do not usually use on the internet. At PayNet we have been thinking about such problems in order to come up with simple solutions, that are secure and cost effective.
Sticking to our belief at PayNet that the user’s privacy is the responsibility of the service provider, we have incorporated certain methods which help us ensure user information is always secure and not broadcasted. Few of the features we have incorporated in the PayNet platform include:
Multiple identifiers - We are no longer limited to mobile number as the only unique user identifier, though it is the easiest to remember for the users, however there are people and communities who still do not want to use the payment service, as they do not want to make their mobile number to be publically shared. Therefore, the concept of multiple unique identifiers for a single user have been incorporated in the transaction flow to provide businesses and users freedom to choose what information they share with an external world. This user identifier can be selected from Customer ID, Account number, Email, Card number, Mobile number, National ID, Aadhaar Number, etc. Thus a user can use a convenient identifier to receive funds instead of mobile number. A shop-keeper instead of using a mobile number can use an identifier like Mike’s Store.
Scan-and Pay QR Codes - In order to make the service useable with multiple identifiers, users can now access the above discussed identifiers as QR in the mobile application, using QR for any of the identifier user can now receive payments, send payments, request payments, pay bills, without revealing their private information to strangers or in public domain.
Tap & Pay NFC Cards - Retail is one of the largest application for mobile payments, however most of the users often do not prefer mobile payments at retail as the process is often time taking, due to technical and/or training issues, users do not want to share their private information at a merchant point-of-sale. In order to make retail payments convenient and secure, PayNet enables transactions on NFC cards linked to the user’s account or wallet. Users can tap this card at a NFC receiver or mPOS application provided by PayNet which works with the native NFC of the mobile handset. Thus the users do not have to share any private information and yet they can pay using their mobile wallet.
The proposed approach has multiple applications in payments, banking, and telecom. Where payments can still be done using the mobile wallet, yet maintaining user’s privacy.