With customers switching to mobile banking over traditional banking, Empays has taken a lead in launching such services for banks. In an exclusive interview with Elets News Network (ENN), Ravi Rajagopalan, MD & CEO, Empays, talked about the latest innovations in the world of digital payments. Excerpts:
How is Empays innovating itself in helping banks to launch mobile financial services?
Empays has consistently innovated in the area of mobile financial services offered through banks. This arises from a belief that regulated financial institutions are the key to building and retaining consumer confidence in a turbulent world. In its existence, Empays has created two flagship products that are unique in the financial technology world — The IMT System and Empays Payment Cloud.
The IMT System in India is a network of ATMs that operate without a card and are linked to India’s leading banks. Anyone can receive a payment from an account holder in member banks using just the mobile number and a code. Using this, the person can get cash from any of these ATMs without using any card. All you need to do is to press the IMT button on the ATMs. Certified as a payment system by the RBI, the system is one of its kind in the country. At present, the State Bank Group, Axis Bank, Bank of India and Yes Bank are members.
The Empays Payment Cloud is a unique platform that offers Digital Banking as a Service. As part of the platform, an account or customer relationship can be set up digitally in less than a minute in selected countries outside India. The platform embeds a payment mediation service that meets all the objectives of SWIFT but does so instantly. It currently powers international mobile payments for Barclays Bank Plc and Axis Bank plc in the UK, and for Emirates NBD and Mashreq Bank in the UAE. Other banks in other countries are in the pipeline.
Your instant money transfer is very popular. How does it help the common man?
The Instant Money Transfer (IMT) system is extremely simple to use and reaches anyone – including a person without a bank account. It is the only such system of its kind regulated as a payment system by the Central Bank. The payment can only be initiated from a bank channel (like kiosk, ATM, mobile) and can only be withdrawn from a bank channel (ATM or Agent). As a result IMT is the cheapest mode of sending money. The payments are also instant. It means there is no question of waiting. Finally, the system is regulated by the Reserve Bank which promises the guarantee of safety that we provide as a result of the supervision by the RBI.
Empays payment cloud is all about digital payments. How does it allow rapid innovation with minimum investment?
The APIs that are part of the Empays Payment Cloud are offered as a service that the bank can consume as part of digital payments. The system is hosted on private cloud in a safe and secure manner. A white labelled App is also available which contains the digital flow of payments. All this means the bank can prototype a payment in a month and go live in three to four months with no investment other than a setup fee and transaction-based payment scheme.
How are your products helping in the e-governance initiative of the Government of India?
Getting cash and benefits in the hands of people is a massive priority and we are talking to government departments on how best to deliver Direct Benefit Transfers on behalf of governments.
What are some new products that you plan to launch soon?
We will be launching new products that bring social media and banking together in an innovative manner. We are also watching the space of contactless payments very closely and will be present in this space as well.
Empays is keen that the government uses native Indian innovations like Instant Money Transfer (IMT) to handle their payments and not just channels made available by the public sector agencies.
What expectations do you nurture from the government in policies to work as a catalyst for this sector’s growth?
As an alternate payment system, we request a levelplaying field. We have already requested for IMT to be included in the UPI framework which enables connectivity to IMPS. Secondly, we are keen that the government uses native Indian innovations like IMT to handle their payments and not just channels made available by the public sector agencies. If the government is keen on entrepreneurship, they must reward domestic entrepreneurs with volumes.