RBI’s regulatory sandbox greenlights ToneTag’s contactless, sound-based payment pilot

The solution will enable customers to avoid the hassle of making cash as well as touch-based digital payments. The sound-based technology can enable it from any mobile phone, including feature phones used by more than 600 million Indians
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ToneTag, a proximity communication company and the largest sound network, has recently announced the success of its PoC, focusing on a contactless, sound wave-based payment service, in the regulatory sandbox set up by the RBI. The solution is set to redefine the digital payment space by creating a seamless experience for customers, enabling them to avoid the hassle of making cash as well as touch-based digital payments. ToneTag’s sound-based technology can enable it from any mobile phone, including feature phones used by more than 600 million Indians. Through this innovation, the company aims to bridge the last-mile financial inclusion in the country, enabling rural India – where smartphone penetration is low – to go cashless.

Despite the regulatory push towards making India a digital-first economy, a majority of Indians continue to rely on cash payments. In the post-COVID-19 landscape, where minimizing the physical contact environment is a priority, the need for a cashless payment method that doesn’t require the customer to touch foreign devices is critical. This is where ToneTag enters the picture. It’s simple and low-cost solution enables the user to make payments using their device without any additional setup for merchants.

Speaking on passing the regulatory sandbox, Kumar Abhishek, Founder and CEO – ToneTag, said, “Despite the various imperatives to switch to digital payments, most Indians, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 regions, still use cash because of low smartphone penetration which stands at only 30% in India. Nearly 600 million Indians still use feature phones that do not support digital payment apps available in the market. We wanted to address exactly this need-gap, not only to drive financial inclusion in the country but also in the context of the viral outbreak when minimizing one’s physical contact environment is critical. Our sound-based technology allows Indians to conduct cashless transactions. To drive the transaction, the user only needs to call an IVR number and follow simple instructions. The entire process is the same as making a call on the mobile device that users are already familiar with.”

“We are grateful to the RBI for setting up the regulatory sandbox where we got the opportunity to prove the value of our technology. As part of the cohort, we are more than ready to take the fintech industry by storm and revolutionize the payment processes for every Indian,” he added.


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Kumar AbhishekPaymentsRBIRegulatory Sandboxtonetag
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