Money has been at the core of our business activities. At the onset of civilization, we used a barter system to exchange goods, then we relied on precious stones as a token of currency and as civilization moved forward, countries made their own currency as economic values. With the rise of technology, currencies have witnessed a paradigm shift from being physical to digital. The pandemic fuelled the adoption of digital mediums for financial transactions as the whole world witnessed unprecedented lockdowns and restrictions. Covid-19 triggered the urgency for contactless payment which has been garnering interest among financial institutions even during the pre-covid era. People wanted a safe and touch-free way to complete financial transactions for mundane tasks: transportation tickets, buying goods at retail stores or even getting cash from an ATM. The spike in contactless payment since 2020 was noteworthy. In most developed countries such as the US, UAE as well as the countries in the European continent, the governments are trying to incorporate contactless payment as the standard protocol for all citizens. In fact, a survey by Mastercard revealed that over 40 per cent of people globally have switched to contactless payment within the first quarter of 2020. In 2022, the numbers have spiked to reach 80 per cent. An article by Research and Markets predicted that the global contactless payment market is most likely to triple its revenue by 2026.
Challenges That Come With NFC and QR Payment Methods
The alternatives to traditional cash and plastic money (credit cards and debit cards) were yet to be popularized. NFC and QR were the most primitive choices for contactless payments. These payment procedures require manual intervention and are dependent on factors like internet connectivity ( in the case of QR) or advanced hardware settings ( in the case of NFCs). NFC and QR technologies started enabling alternative payment methods in the physical spaces to replace the traditional cash and plastic money (debit and credit cards). However both these methods come with their own baggage of limitations.
How does NFC work?
NFC (a.k.a Near Field Communication) is a special wireless communication technology built into modern consumer electronics such as smartphones or laptops. NFCs use radio frequencies ( in the form of HF RFID technology) to allow wireless data transfer between two NFC compatible devices that are located in close proximity to one another( within 5 cm) without relying on the internet. NFCs can be active or passive. Active NFCs allow bi-directional communication between the sender’s and receiver’s devices. On the contrary, passive NFC devices only allow unidirectional transmission of data and are largely used in payment portals with the aid of NFC tags.
Challenges With NFC
The biggest challenge that comes with NFC is its inclusivity barrier. In order to successfully complete a transaction with the aid of NFC, the sender’s device has to be equipped with an NFC reader or chip that can either decode an NFC tag or pair with a to successfully complete a transaction. However, not all phones, especially the ones that are manufactured in the developing countries are compatible with scanning NFC tags which brings in a massive barrier, contributing to dissatisfied customers.
NFC also raises a significant amount of security concerns. NFCs conduct transactions by transmitting electronic signals. This is why they have proved to be susceptible to cyber threats such as eavesdropping, malware attacks as well as phishing. Hackers can retrieve and decode leaked signals to capture sophisticated user information that can put your safety at risk.
How do QR codes work?
QR codes, on the other hand, are unique matrix barcodes that contain bits and pieces of sensitive digital information, untraceable by humans. These codes are encrypted and they require to be scanned with the help of a QR scanner in order to be decoded and translated into legitimate information that further helps in the completion of a transaction procedure. In order to conduct a QR-based transaction, internet connectivity is absolutely necessary as data gets transferred with the aid of the internet.
Challenges With QR
When it comes to QR, there are several challenges that a user might face as well. Firstly, although it is proclaimed as a contactless means of payment, manually scanning a QR code requires the sender and receiver to come in close contact with one another, which goes against the purpose of contactless payments.
QR based transactions require a stable internet connection. This means, the user might face transaction errors under fluctuating network conditions. It also maximizes the cyber threats like phishing and malware attacks that can lead to loss of sensitive data.
Scanning QR codes can also be very challenging under low light conditions and can be inconvenient for small business owners who are trying to incorporate digital payment protocols in their stalls.
Sometimes the QR codes may encounter bugs that can completely disrupt the payment procedure leading to dissatisfied customers and frustrated business owners. Additionally, certain android phones lack an inbuilt scanner app. Users have to download a scanner app to continue with the payment procedure. This approach can seem tedious for the users and can contribute to a poor user experience.
How does Data over Sound Technology Solve These Challenges?
The data over sound technology is a pioneering solution that can solve all the challenges that QR and NFCs struggle with. This state of the art technology uses sound waves as a medium for transporting financial transaction information from one device to another. The sound waves can be in the form of ultrasonic or sonic waves.
In this form of data transfer technology, the encrypted information is transmitted through the speaker of the sender’s device in the form of TrillTones. These sound waves travel through the air and are received by the microphone of the receiver’s device wherein this information is decrypted and authenticated. The entire transaction procedure is fast, secure and is not dependent on any app.
The pioneering data over sound technology has been developed keeping inclusivity at its core. Inclusivity helps in leveraging simple equipment to pave the way for efficient and seamless transactions. Any device with a microphone and a speaker can use this interface to successfully complete transactions without any hassles.
Speaking of hurdles, the two main challenges that contemporary contactless payment options pose are transaction security and poor user experience. These challenges are quite efficiently solved by data over sound. Data over Sound does not require internet connectivity to carry out a transaction procedure, eliminating the chances of malware attacks. Furthermore, additional layers of security can be integrated into the data in the form of encryption or tokenization in order to enable secure transactions within seconds.
Trillbit is extremely user-friendly as it eliminates the need to manually enter any transaction information. This ensures that individuals who are not tech-savvy can easily opt for a seamless experience of using contactless transactions. It serves as a viable solution in developing countries as it doesn’t require an Internet connection, allowing a smooth authentication process without any interruptions.
The truth is, contactless payment has emerged to be the new normal. Not only does it eliminate the risks of communicable diseases, but it also makes the payment scenario a lot easier and more efficient. Consumers no longer have to worry about carrying cash or not having enough change on them. However, technology keeps evolving and it's time to switch to a technology that doesn’t carry the baggage of chips or internet connectivity. Trillbit’s innovatory technology ensures that you can stay one step ahead by future-proofing your business and can contribute to a seamless transaction experience for your customer along with cutting down the unwanted threats of fraud and cyber-attacks.
Book a free Demo call with us to explore Contactless payment with 'Data over sound' technology for your business.