By Vincent Alimi

Over the past several years, the emergence of new payment systems has made it considerably easier and faster for businesses and consumers to send and receive payments. Digital banking tools have made it possible to transfer funds online or through mobile banking apps directly to people you know, significantly improving the overall payment experience.

Looking forward, the increasing demand for quick, convenient and low-cost payment acceptance platforms, as well as the trend toward providing a unified mobile experience, will narrow the gaps between physical, digital, personal and commercial payments as we advance towards a cashless society.

Privacy, security for cash-in-hand transactions

There remains, however, one unserved segment of the payment landscape: cash-in-hand transactions.

Consisting of both payments to micro-merchants and peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions, cash-in-hand payments can include anything from service providers—like yoga teachers, gardeners and tutors getting paid—to people selling belongings at garage sales or on Craigslist. They can also include payments outside of buyer-seller transactions: for example, collecting donations for charities or paying back debts to friends and family.

The potential is there for digitizing these transactions. Though declining albeit at a slower rate than in the past in Canada, cash continues to be the most widely used payment means according to Payments Canada, but by a slight margin1.

P2P payment solutions like Venmo, Zelle and Interac e-Transfer are popular ways to send money to family and friends. However, the downside with these methods is that they require contacts’ e-mail addresses and/or mobile phone numbers to transfer funds. As a result, they don’t meet all of consumers’ payment needs, specifically where security is concerned. For some people, sacrificing a small part of their privacy and contact details may seem like an acceptable concession given the convenience offered by P2P payment services. But what happens when they need to send money to a stranger (stranger to stranger or S2S) or collect payment from a customer without sharing personal information?

A simpler and secure answer

In response, Mobeewave has created a patented mobile-only “tap-on-phone” solution enabling contactless payment acceptance on smart devices such as cell phones and mobile wallets. The company’s technology provides an in-person solution that addresses the challenge of S2S payments. While the closed-loop approach of other payment networks demands that both the payers and payees are connected on the same social networks, use the same service or exchange contact details, only the individuals receiving payments needs to have the technology with Mobeewave’s innovative platform.

With Mobeewave, anyone can become a merchant and any phone can become a terminal without any additional hardware or cost. This technology is revolutionizing the way small businesses operate as it allows merchants to collect payments from their customers with just a tap of the payees’ credit cards or mobile wallets against their smartphones. This proprietary technology presents great opportunities for merchants to meet the growing expectations of consumers with regards to ease of payment in today’s new mobile age. For example, contract workers and freelancers—those in the “gig economy”—depend on diversifying revenue streams and seek payment systems as agile as their work requires them to be, with more speed, efficiency and flexibility. Having access to a payment acceptance tool that puts money in a person’s pocket almost immediately allows workers in the gig economy greater financial control and enables them to thrive in the digital marketplace.

Mobeewave’s solution was developed to allow financial institutions and network providers to offer clients a convenient, secure and affordable method for digitizing cash transactions, enabling them to reach otherwise unserved micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses. As a result, the aforementioned vendors are able to open up new verticals and increase revenue streams through value-added services. Ultimately, Mobeewave’s solution allows banks to become a payments platform provider, thus expanding their role within the payments ecosystem.

How does it work?

Mobeewave’s patented solution enables secure acceptance of payments of less than US$100. It harnesses smartphones’ near field communication (NFC) capabilities and secure elements. For these reasons Mobeewave is more secure than other mobile offerings, which do not use the NFC and secure aspects of smartphones. It is a faster way to be paid as the money goes directly into the merchants’ bank accounts in real time.

In line with payment industry security standards, Mobeewave is licensed either as a white-label solution or as a software development kit (SDK) to financial institutions and network providers around the world. With no terminal costs and the added convenience of not having to license or purchase external hardware, it is a less cumbersome alternative to traditional point-of-sale (POS) and mPOS systems. With its patented technology, Mobeewave aims to shift the payment industry from one based on hardware to a pure software plane.

With deployments in Canada, along with Australia, India, Poland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mobeewave has worked with financial institutions such as the National Bank of Canada and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. It has also formed partnerships with payment companies such as Mastercard, Visa and Global Payments, as well as technology manufacturers like Samsung. Mobeewave’s technology is available through National Bank’s Easy Pay App and is compatible with Visa and Mastercard credit cards, Visa PayWave, Mastercard PayPass, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and all other HCE (host card emulation) mobile wallets.

Vincent Alimi is chief growth officer, Mobeewave (www.mobeewave.com). He has been working in the area of payment and financial technology for more than 15 years. Responsible for growth and innovation at Mobeewave, he is a specialist in mobile ecosystems, mobile architecture, EMV, payment systems, mPOS architecture and ecosystems and embedded applications, as well as contact, contactless and mobile payment.

1 Michael Tompkins and Viktoria Galociova, “Canadian Payment Methods and Trends: 2018”, Payments Canada, report, December 10, 2018.

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