Mobile Payment Forum of India to intro voice authentication

The Mobile Payment Forum of India (MPFI), a think tank, is looking to introduce several new user-friendly features such as voice biometrics authentication, according to a report by The Economic Times.

As part of a joint initiative of the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, Hyderabad and Rural Technology Business Incubator, IIT Madras, the think tank strives “to enable mobile payments and financial services through secure, efficient and low-cost transactions.”

MPFI helped develop interoperability and security standards for Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), the basic platform for mobile payments, which would later be used to establish Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

“MPFI will focus on futuristic solutions such as voice-based authentication and security and privacy, among others,” Gaurav Raina, MPFI chairman and a professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M), said.

The solutions-oriented think tank — whose stakeholders include policy makers, banks and telcos — was looking at issues related to policy, business and technology over short, medium and long-term horizons, Raina said.

Raina said it would also focus on other issues, including raising user awareness, simplifying message formats for SMS banking, proximity payments and Near Field Communication (tap and pay) in the coming months.

He said MPFI was working towards the standardization of message formats for SMS banking across banks.

“Not everyone has a smartphone,” he said. “Connectivity could be patchy although it is getting better.. SMS as a channel for at least basic financial services should be promoted and needs standardization.”

Raina said that a single mastercode could be used across banks for account balance purposes.

Over the coming years, MPFI will focus on developing various features such as voice-based authentication, which aims to make the authentication process easier for more people.

Raina said there were over 90 million financial transactions using IMPS and UPI in August 2017 alone, and as many as 500 million transactions using IMPS in FY 2016-17.

“These massive growth numbers are but a small indication of the tremendous potential for mobile payments in the Indian economy,” he said.

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