Fintech startup Simpal developing payments device with iris recognition

Leveraging the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform, Fintech startup Simpal Mobile Payments and Information Services is developing a payment device that uses iris recognition, according to a report by The Economic Times.

Simpal, founded by former merchant banker Vineet Toshniwal, is leveraging both UPI — launched last week by the National Payments Corporation of India — and Unique Identification Authority of India (Aadhaar).

The startup has developed OctoPOS, an Android device that combines the capabilities of a smartphone and a payment device, designed for both consumers and merchants.

OctoPOS will be produced by Chinese manufacturers and is expected to retail for US$100. Users will be able to make Aadhaar-enabled payments through the device’s iris recognition engine, which was developed by the University of Beijing’s Department of Pattern Recognition.

“The OctoPOS iris scanning engine has been certified by STQC Labs, which certifies all devices that can work on Aadhar,” Toshniwal said. “The device also has an integrated Near Field Communications chip that can accept any RFID and contact list cards.”

Simpal will be ready to roll out the device by November, having already secured partnerships with a major private sector bank, according to Toshniwal.

The company is also in late-stage discussions with a major telco, which will serve as a distributor for the device.

The startup has already raised an undisclosed sum from several well-known investors, including JM Trivedi, partner at private equity giant Actis India, and Girish Patel, promoter of domestic personal care major Paras Pharma.

“The Aadhar-enabled payment system is extremely revolutionary for the country,” Toshniwal said. “It’s a real time, path-breaking system, operating on all accounts, and where, most importantly, the payment is not at a cost to the merchant.”

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